We sailed the Allure around the same time last year. We feared that we may be a bit disappointed in the Explorer coming off such a big, newer ship like the Allure but for those of you have wondered the same thing, we were not disappointed at all.
Embarkation - A breeze
Rooms connecting balcony rooms on starboard side deck 10 aft. A little disappointed that the balconies did not connect, but I was able to live with it. I was a little skeptical about being under the Windjammer for fear of noise but we did not hear any noise at all.
Ship We loved it. It was a great size and if we hadn’t sailed on the Allure we would have thought it was really big. The promenade was great, the ship was clean and updated and everything they had to offer was satisfactory to us.
Staff Extremely professional and friendly staff. Our favorites were the washy, washy guy with the braces. Never got his name but he put a smile on our faces every day. Our servers in the dining room were superb. Cruise director Leigh Xuereb did a fine job as well as the activities coordinator Erky from Turkey. They were a funny team. We honestly did not come across one staff member that wasn’t friendly or helpful.
Shows We really liked all of the shows we saw. We saw the ice skating show in Studio B. It was very entertaining. Ventriloquist Brad Cummings was the headliner one night. They also had a dance show choreographed by Louis Van Amstel of DWTS. We also saw the Love and Marriage show which was hilarious. The Farewell show had a comedian and there was singing and the crew came out onto the stage. We missed the Welcome Aboard show and another show they had featuring the RC singers/dancers which highlighted movies like Dirty Dancing and Footloose.
Other we saw the Belly Flop Contest (which DH participated in) and the Sexiest Man Contest. We played Bingo and participated in a few trivia games. We played mini-golf and ping pong but never ended up doing the rock climbing wall or going ice skating. DH and I also enjoyed the live band playing nightly in Dizzy’s and the guitar player in the Crown & Kettle Pub. In the casino, DH won $130 on a slot machine and I lost $20 playing roulette.
Bermuda We had a bermudaful time.The ship docked portside and the Breakaway was also in port with us. The weather was predicted to be so- so but it ended up being beautiful the whole time we were there. We bought the 2 day bus/ferry pass. (Don’t stop at the first kiosk right off the ship. There are two more further down which didn’t have any lines.) On Day 1 we took the ferry to St George. The ride is about 40 minutes. Walked around a bit and had lunch at the White Horse Tavern on the water. If you have kids, bring them there. You can feed the fish French fries and they attack them in a frenzy. It’s so neat to watch. DH and I were in Bermuda 27 years ago and did this and we never forgot it. One of the reasons why we opted to have lunch there and not the Swizzle Inn. We then walked to Tobacco Bay. The rental stand and snack shop were open. I was surprised that the beach there is very small. The view is beautiful and the water is very calm. On day 2 we took the bus to Horseshoe Bay. About a 30 minute bus ride. We rented chairs and an umbrella at $11 a piece. They also had a snack shop. We went back to the ship to shower and then take the bus to Hamilton. That was an hour ride. The family voted on taking the bus so they could see the sights of Bermuda. I would have preferred the 20 minute ferry. By the time we got to Hamilton the shops were closed. We had dinner at the Pickled Onion and then hopped on the 20 minute ferry back to the ship. On Day 3 DD and I woke up early and took a walk to Sea Glass beach. I read that it was a 20 minute walk but I believe it was farther than that. When we got back we met the others at Snorkel Park. They rented a 2-person kayak so we took turns going out on it. It was so peaceful out there. DD’s and DS went on the water trampoline and had fun. It was really crowded there as I guess everyone had the same idea of doing that on the last day and staying close to the ships. We then played mini-golf at Fun Golf right next door. $15 pp admission but well worth it. It was the NICEST mini-golf course I ever played and, believe me, I’ve played a lot of mini-golf. We had to be onboard by 3:30 so we did a little souvenir shopping at the dockyard shops before heading back on the ship.
Disembarkation A little hiccup here. We did self-assist so we had to walk off with our luggage. The problem is with the elevators. When a big group has their luggage with them only 4-5 people can fit on the elevator. Being on deck 10, the elevators would never make it up to us. The people in front of us were waiting for 25 minutes when we got there. We decided to haul ourselves down the stairs to deck 4. I, of course, embarrassing the kids with my big suitcase banging against every step. Once we got down to deck 4 we only waited about 10 minutes and we were off the ship and eased our way through customs.
Overall A fantastic trip. We had as much fun on this cruise as we did on the Allure. Bermuda was wonderful ''" we just wished we had more time there.