Well, we survived our first cruise on Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas. We had a good time.
The ship was beautiful but is starting to show it's age. The food was good, it was not as good (to us) as some people told us it was. Return cruisers said the food was not the same quality or type that they received last year on this ship. Could have been due to a lot of kids wasting food, I don't really know.
We met a lot of nice people from different parts of the country and different countries.
The staff was great, everyone was polite, helpful and in general happy. The most rememberable one was WASHEE WASHEE as you entered the Windjamer.
We visited 3 ports, Port Canaveral Florida, Nassau Bahamas and CoCo Cay Bahamas. When you get off at all of the ports there is staff there to take pictures of you. So if you choice to get the picture package that I mention below get as many posses taken as you like. DON'T forget you Sea Pass and picture ID for adults. You don't need your passport only Sea Pass and picture ID.
Port Canaveral..1pm-11pm there really wasn't much to do or see near by. I didn't feel we had enough time to go further inland to do an excursion and get our monies worth. If we ever stop at that port again, we will just stay on the ship.
Nassua 2pm-midnight was beautiful. We went to Atlantis Dolphin Cay for the Dolphin excursion. We booked directly with Atlantis as the option to book through RCI was not available at that time. We paid $150/per person and $4/person one way for a taxi. The excursion was great, not sure if it was worth the money but it was a once in a life time thing for us, so in the end I guess it was. We didn't get to walk around Atlantis, but we are planning on flying down and staying at one of their resorts for a future trip. It looked amazing. The taxi ride back to the port was most rememberable. Our driver was as funny as can be. He even offered some gonji to one of my friends, I couldn't stop laughing at the look on her face. (no we did NOT take him up on his offer). The weather was absolutely beautiful. We ddin't make it to the Straw Market, but did some shopping near the ship.
Our last stop was at RCI private island CoCo Cay. It was a nice relaxing day. My husband refused to use sun block and got burned. They had a BBQ type lunch set up for us. The good was good. If you go make sure you go early and get an umbrella for shade as they rent them all out quickly for $10 for the day. Don't forget to take money with you on the island as there are vendors there and they do not take your Sea Pass.
As to the ship, the shows are great and you must see them. Our cruise director was Richard Spacey and it was his last week on EOS and he was fabulous!!!!! Great shows and parades.
We purchased a picture package for $450.00 unlimited packages and we had our two rooms (traveled with friends) linked so what ever pictures were taken of each other we each got a complete set. So if you choice to do this find the camera as much as you can and have them take as many picture combinations as you like. Don't for get that they take pictures on deck 5 near the dinning room so you can have family portraits done and they are included in this package. Check out the Art Studio/Portrait space on Deck 4 near the dinning room for pictures taken daily.
Make sure you take a walk to the front of the ship and hang on it's kind of windy.
We used the patches behind the ears and everyone was good, no one got sick.
All in all it was a great trip. I will cruise again, I would like to try a different ship next time just to see the different ones.
I hope this helped and I hope you enjoyed reading.
RCI private island is beautiful. Weather was great. Don't forget to bring cash as there are vendors there and they don't take your Sea Pass. Cook out provided by RCI was great. Get off the boat early if you want to rent an umbrella for $10 for the day they go quickly.Make sure you wear SUNBLOCK my husband refused and got sun poisoning. It was a very relaxing day.