On 2 May, my wife Mary, friends Mike and Joyce, and yours truely, SailawayJack left Cape Liberty on the Explorer of the Seas for 9 great nights. I had sailed out of Bayonne before, the 2nd cruise ever out of the port. This is not my favorite port, but I can drive there in 2 hours. Dropped my passengers off with the luggage, parked car, waited about 1/2 hour, and was on the ship aboutm 11:30 am. Not too bad. Avoided Windjammer crowd and decided to tour the ship. It is the largest on I have sailed on. I read many reviews about Explorer prior to sailing, and I found nothing about this ship which I did not like. For an older ship, Explorer is in great shape.
Stayed in an inside cabin (7437), and it was the first time in a long time. Cabin was plenty large enough for two of us. Lots of storage, and clean. Craig our cabin attendant was good. Plenty of ice and towels. We ate all breakfasts in MDR, and all but one evening were spent there. Food was better than my last cruise. It actually has improved. June and Frank, waiter and assistant were best we have had. They made the cruise. Last night we ate in Portofinos. Great as usual. Windjammer lunches were ok, not great. Service there was good. Shows (ice, Greg London) were the best shows I have seen on a cruise. Stopped at Bermuda. Took tour of island with RoseAnn, whom we used 2 years ago. Stopped at Swizzle Inn and got swizzled (rum punch). Later, ladies swam with the dolphins. They loved that. Stopped at St. Martin, took bus tour and glassbottom boat ride to reef (see and sea tour). Walked around OSJ and toured fort. Labadee was ok, but like Cocoa Cay better. Beaches are rocky. Wear shoes. Walked off ship at 9:25, luggage was ready, and pulled out of parking lot at 10:05. Parking is $19.00 per day. Overall it was one of the best cruises I have taken. Loved the ship and the people we met. Would go back in an instant