Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by drketchone: Bermuda 2nd time around
Overall Member Rating
Bermuda 2nd time around
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
This was our second trip to Bermuda, first one was about 4 years ago with a much larger family group. This time just the two of us.
My biggest complaint about the Bermuda cruise 4 years ago was the weather. It was so unbearably and miserably hot, you never wanted to leave the ship. Certainly not an addressable problem, luck of the draw.
We parked the car at Cape Liberty and paid the $19 a day, been there done that. For the first time though, the "main" lot was full and I eventually found my way across the road to a lot nearer the terminal, next to the ship. I believe it is only used for overflow, but is actually a much nicer place to park.
We arrived at about 2:00pm for our 4:00pm departure, last time this kind of late arrival made us avoid the crowds, not so much this time. There still seemed to be a number of people around from the last cruise, I assume waiting for rides. Because we booked with they give you a priority boarding coupon, which just More means you get in the Crown and Anchor line to get to security. Probably 20 minutes getting through there without issue (read my old reviews for previous security issues). Check in was immediate, shuttle to ship was immediate, security was the only delay. Our room was ready as soon as we got on.
The upgrade fairy gave us a window room from an interior guarantee, I've done balconies and interior before, first time with a window. Deck 9, one room away from the forward facing suites, right below the bridge. Because the room was so far forward it had the curve of the ship in it, made for a bigger room, but was useless space. I stood in the extra space a couple of times to give myself a warm fuzzy feeling about my upgrade. We decided that we don't like a window room, which was no surprise. The room was a typical RCI room, the worst part I can say about the room was the remote for the TV was not very good, the cabin attendant switched it for another she had on her cart, same result. Probably the TV not the remote. I was sailing on EOS several years ago when they had a sewer smell problem (there was nothing this time) but for the first time I noticed that there was an effective, adjustable, vent above the shower. A new addition, or specific to certain rooms? I don't know, but I liked it.
We did My Time Dining. This is so much better for us than the main seatings, we had the same table every time and never showed up at the same time. The waiters were attentive and the food was usually very prompt. Quality has probably gone down a bit, but if you cant find something you like or want to try, your stressing your cruise too much. The entertainment was again typical RCI, same shows, different faces, but I enjoyed everyone. Our ice show got cancelled due to rough seas. Leigh was the cruise director, he was good along with his assistant "Frank the Tank"; that being said, I missed Jimmy Rhodes. Captain Nyseter is the best one I have ever encountered, he is retiring next year.
Day 1 in Bermuda we bought day passes from a private resort, definitely made the trip worthwhile, no question we will be doing it again in the future. Used the ferry to get to Hamilton then a bus to the resort. I should have known better but I was thinking with my wallet and not my head. The buses on Bermuda are horrible, whatever you do, avoid the buses. A taxi ride back to the ferry was $13. Day 2 was a slow start so we just spent the day around Kings Wharf. We did find a diamond in the rough however, near the snorkel park they recently opened a mini-golf (we didn't play, but it said free) There is an outside bar with both alcohol and non alcohol drinks, plus wifi and a great view. It was the perfect location to spend the last bit of time on the island.
Some rough seas with some rain that night, nothing too horrible. Disembarking was not too bad, woke up late again (it's vacation), we were already docked, had a bite to eat in the windjammer, which was the busiest I had seen it the entire trip. Went back to the room to find absolutely everyone in the entire hallway was already gone, and I hadn't even packed my stuff. This seems to be a new trend with us. Got our stuff and waited in the dining room for about 45 mins to be called, things seemed to be running very late for everyone. The self-carry people got off 10 mins before the numbers, at least 2.5 hours after we docked.
A successful Bermuda cruise on Explorer, I will miss her when she is gone. Less
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