29 SEP 13 Explorer of the Seas Bermuda Promenade 8311
Flew to Newark Saturday evening 28 SEP. Stayed at the Springhill Suites Newark Airport. Really enjoyed this hotel. A few days before you receive an email that tells you how to catch the free shuttle from the airport to the hotel. The breakfast the next day was very good. Staff keeps this area very clean. I did use the business center and exercise room. Found them both to be excellent.
Departure morning of the cruise I used Dial 7 car service from the hotel to the cruise port. Car arrived at the hotel promptly at 10:30am. We were at the port by 11am. When they began the boarding process, your number was called and you boarded a shuttle bus to take you probably 500 feet to the Explorer. Boarded the ship around noon. Rooms were not available to 1:30pm. The Windjammer was already full.
It was then off to see my first promenade stateroom. It was one of the last promenades on Deck 8. Liked the two loveseats in the room. I did watch one of the parades from this room, which to me beats fighting the crowd. On the last day I did set in the sofa by the window and watch the elevators. When the crowd finally died down on the elevator, I went to my station and waited for my number to be called. I liked the layout of the room but I don’t think I’d pay the extra money for one. This one was an upgrade.
There was plenty of entertainment on the ship. There were two different comedians. The ventriloquist was excellent. Enjoyed the ice show. In the evening there was always some type of music to enjoy. There were the usual pool games on deck during the day. One evening they had dancing under the stars which I really enjoyed. All in all the ship entertainment was outstanding.
I started out with late dinner and ended up on mytime. Future cruises I’ll just start with mytime. The first night a table of 8 there were 4 of us. Then 2. I noticed several tables of 8 around us with 4 or 5 people at the table. Seems they could have combined them. The head waiter did tell us there were 6 scheduled for that table and did we want to switch. By that time it was Wednesday and we just changed to mytime. Dinner in the dining room was ok. When we were in Bermuda, we just ate in the Windjammer. We found the food in the Windjammer to be just as good as the dining room. While we were happy with the meals, the food in the dining rooms has gone down. It maybe it was just a different chef. But again, we were satisfied with the food.
Our first day in Bermuda we took the ships trip to Horseshoe Bay. ($30) A lot of people took the bus. The only problem with the bus is they drop you off at the top of the hill and you walk to the beach. When you are ready to go, there is a $2 bus to take you to the top. We noticed several people taking taxis. Horseshoe Bay is gorgeous. I loved this beach. We sat for 3 hours and no one bothered us. No one trying to sell you anything. I just loved this about Bermuda. There’s a place to rent chairs and umbrelllas and a place for snacks. After this trip we went back to the ship, clean up and walked into town for the evening.
The next day we took the ferry to Hamilton and shopped. Then took a taxi ($12 each way) to the Coco Cay Reef Resort. We paid $50 for lunch and use of the pool and beach for the day. This was my favorite part of the ship. This resort is fabulous. About 60 rooms. Beach wasn’t huge but the chairs and umbrellas were plentiful. Around 5pm we caught the taxi back to the ferry. Most of the shops in Hamilton closed around 6pm.
Our last day in Bermuda we took the Famous Railway Nature Hike. We also enjoyed this hike of the old Railway system. Beautiful scenery and an excellent guide. There was suppose to be beach time but once we got to the beach they said it was time to board the tender for the trip back. Really enjoyed our guides tour of the area.
Like all cruises they end way too soon. Once back at Bayonne we caught the shuttle. Go to the end of the terminal area and look for the different shuttles back to your airport.
I loved the pink sand beaches of Bermuda and the Explorer of the Seas. This area is getting ready for Quantum of the Seas. Several crew members will leave Explorer for Quantum. Would love to repeat this trip.