We enjoyed our cruise on the Explorer. There were a few things that could have been improved.
First, the boarding process was held up a little, we heard rumors what might have happened, but only rumors. The worst part of the boarding was our fellow passengers. You're on vacation, relax, you will get on the ship, there will be plenty of food in the WindJammer. Be patient, the elevators will get you there, or you can take the steps.
Second, changing from Lipton to "Fair Trade" tea. That was a mistake. My wife picked up some tea bags for me at our first stop. All I could taste was paper when I used the "Fair Trade" tea.
Third, the price of bingo has doubled since we did our Christmas Cruise on the Explorer. It used to be 2 cards for $32.00, now you only got one card for the same price.
Now for the good stuff.
John (Cruise Director) and his wife Katrina (Activities Director) did a great job. Their excitement for what they did was contagious. As John would say it was a "Great" experience. It made for a wonderful cruise. And we are doing great now. If John reads this, he will know his message was received.
The shows were very enjoyable (except for the first show production). Steve Smith (comic) was very good. His humor hit home a lot, and was clean. The other two production shows were good. Spectrum was great. We have seen several Motown type shows on cruises that fell flat, but this was a very upbeat, enjoyable show.
The closing show, John truly out did himself. Coming out singing Neil Diamond tunes, Katrina came out later and rapped... Spectrum did a mini set with as much energy as they used in their main show, and the juggler from the matinee show performed again.
The food and service were very good. The selection was varied enough where you didn't get tired of the menu. Our servers, Jorge and Jorge did a fantastic job.
Our JS was very comfortable, the cabin steward, Newton, was very personable and took care of us.
The ship is well maintained, some of the carpets could stand to be replaced. All of the restrooms I visited were very clean.
On the "International Lunch Day" the staff moved the lunch from the Promenade to the dining room. This was a great call. On our Christmas Cruise it was on the Promenade and it was absolutely horrible, people standing in line blocking the Promenade and once you got your food, there was no place to sit.
We visited a couple of bars and the bartenders were very friendly.
Another sea day would have allowed us to use more of the ship's facilities.
Our disembarkation went very smooth. From the time we left the ship, till we pulled out of the parking lot heading home, was about 20 minutes.
Captain Henrik had a fantastic crew working for him and taking care of his ship.