First time on Explorer, mostly positive review and based on 3 previous cruises on Celebrity.
Getting to ship a little more difficult but it was first time at Cape Liberty.
Getting on board very smooth with no glitches.
Room very nice but tight due to 2 adult children with us. Ended up storing luggage on balcony. Attendant never introduced herself but was excellent and invisible until needed. Room kept in perfect shape.
Dining a disaster first night. 10 in group with request for table for all of us and supposedly in place. Found out we were scattered over all 3 levels. Found bar manager named Ansel (sp) who is fantastic and should be noted for anyone going out in the future. He made it happen after dining room staff said it couldn't be done. Food, service no where near quality of Celebrity. No wine steward caused long wait for wine at dinner. One person took order, another brought it and third person finally opened it. By the way, the Chardonnay #280 was super and I had several bottles. food selection not the greatest, Prime rib worst I've ever had anywhere, Lobster from New Zealand with different flavor from Maine Lobster back home, still good. Seemed like all staff was under trained except few.
Windjammer was OK. Stay away from hamburgers, tasteless & cold with buns real cold. Most food good. No trays a bummer with silver, a plate, maybe a bowl of soup, and a drink to carry. Even on Celebrity you got a tray and at the end a porter would offer to carry your tray and find you a table. Did no appreciate no food available during night as I am early riser. Found coffee on Promenade deck until 0630.
We didn't do any excursions but the kids did. They were happy with all of them. Complained of long lines at rock wall. Walked the shops of St. Thomas and was overwhelmed with street people trying to steer you to shops and other shop people trying to get you in their stores. Some guy in a tee shirt and blue jeans tried his best to sell my wife a $17,500 bracelet for 75% off because sales were off. He didn't look like he had a hundred dollars to his name. Bought some cubans and learned later they were no brands with fake labels for 10 bucks each.
Walked some of San Juan but very hilly and too tiring on my wife. Back on ship we walked past Guest Relations and overheard an elderly lady telling them she was robbed on shore and the guy only took her cash. We were warned several times that pick pockets were very bad.
Didn't get off boat at Labadee due to oppressive heat bothered my wife. Enjoyed day on ship.
Other observations onboard: Saw many supervisors doing work while staff stood around letting them. Not too efficient for running a ship.
Schooner lounge became my favorite. Piano player very good and sings and plays Saxophone all at once. Very talented. One of the bar waiters, Marlene Williams very nice and proficient. She pent a lot of time visiting with us and became a friend. Look her up.
Like everyone else getting off the ship trouble free and for the number of people pretty quick. Hint: They don't check your luggage color if you want to get off with the second or third group. We didn't cheat but we saw several others pull it off.
Worst part was getting our vehicle to the luggage loading area and then even worse trying to leave with cars all around and back of you loading out in the roadway