Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by spyder209: Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
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Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
My husband and I went on this cruise with two other couples. It was our first cruise, but I have been on one other cruise since. We flew from Charlotte, N.C to Miami F.L.. We bought the travel vouchers from Rccl. A Rccl rep met us at baggage claim and took our bags. It was convenient having him deal with the bags and having a bus waiting for us to take us to port. I do think that it would have been significantly cheaper for us all to split a taxi, but I have no complaints about the travel vouchers. We arrived at port and it only took about 30 minutes for all six of us to check in and board. Very smooth process. We went to lunch and our room was ready when we returned.
We had a balcony cabin. It was nice, but there didn't seem to be enough storage. The closet was small and we had to make the couch a storage unit for suitcases and bags. I assumed this was one of the things to expect on a cruise, but I didn't have this problem on another More ship. It was nice to have a balcony, but the balcony was made of metal. When I sat in the chair, I could not see the water. I thought that it should have had glass or Plexiglas, so that you could see through it. The second cruise had that and it was much nicer. The rest of the room was nice. Our cabin steward was highly inattentive. He rarely spoke to us and just looked mad to be there. On one occasion he took our towels and told us to get more at the pool. We made several attempts to get more, but were told that the ship was out of towels and would have to wash more. We had spent the day at the pool and had to run back to the room freezing!!!!. I complained to the purser's desk and got about 5 phone messages apologizing, but didn't towels until much later.
The ship was beautiful. Mostly clean with the exception of some of the ladies rooms. Several of the toilets were not working at the ladies room near the auditorium. It didn't appear to have been cleaned in a while either. Other than that, the ship was great. I thought that it was very accessible. I did get lost a few times (the ship is huge), but easily found my way. The aquarium lounge near the dining room was really neat. We met there every night for a drink before dinner. The promenade was beautiful!!! The shopping area was also nice, several stores and deals. FOOD
The dining room food was excellent. We ate their every night. We had a table for the six of us. The staff was fabulous. They brought us everything on the menu to try. All of the guys had two appetizers every night. The staff was very attentive and friendly. They danced and posed for pictures. I think I tasted everything they had all week and it was all 5 star. We ate lunch in the Windjammer during the day. The food was o.k., but it never changed. Lunch and breakfast the same everyday. We did have a terrible time finding a table everyday, very crowded. We did have breakfast in the room on one occasion. It was very good. All in all, the food was very good on this ship.
We went to many of the shows. The comedian was great. He brought a guy from our group on stage. He also was very friendly and posed for pictures. The newlywed game was very funny. All of the shows we saw were top notch. But, the best was the ice show. It was fantastic. The tickets are in high demand, so get them early. I was very surprised of all that they can do on such a small surface. We all really enjoyed the ice show. There were a lot of things to do on the ship. We went to several of the art auctions. Now we are addicted and go every time they come to our town. Great deals on beautiful art! The guys in our group joined a volleyball tournament and had fun. Another one of my friends went to a wine tasting class and had fun at that too. There were so many things to do, just not enough time.
The pools seemed small to me. I know it is a cruise, but they seemed much bigger on the other ship I was on. It was difficult to use the hot tubs because children were always in them. They did have an adults only pool and hot tub, but the kids were still everywhere. No one enforced the adults only rule. I thought that it was rude of people to allow their children to run all over the ship unsupervised. We also had a hard time finding chairs. There just didn't seem to be enough.
In Puerto Rico, we didn't have a prearranged excursion booked. When we got off the ship, their were several tour guides waiting at the dock. We bought a tour from one of them at half the price of the ones Rccl was offering. He took us to Old and New San Juan. We visited the fort and he gave us some history as we drove. He stopped at places for us to get out and take pictures. After the fort, he took us to the shopping district. He dropped us off and told us he would pick us up in two hours. I didn't have high hopes of him coming back. As we shopped it started pouring rain. We were soaking wet, but we were having so much fun. The tour guide did show up as promised. He even stopped by a store on the way back, so we could buy sodas to take on the ship. I was very happy with that tour and the price.
We had booked the land and sea tour through Rccl. We took a bus ride to both sides of the island and then went on a glass bottom boat. The water was so murky that we really couldn't see much. When the tour was over, we went shopping. There were great shops. We shopped for hours and I bought a beautiful tanzanite ring for a great price. We all agreed that we should have foregone the tour and just spent the day shopping. It was the best port to shop in on this cruise.
Beautiful!!!! The water was crystal clear. We booked a catamaran sail and snorkel through Rccl. It was one of the best excursions I have ever been on. We were on the Castaway Girl catamaran. We sailed for about 45 minutes out into the ocean. You can lay out on the deck and relax as you sail. It was very relaxing. When we got to the destination, we went snorkeling. The staff was very helpful. They bought food to attract the fish and took us to a shipwreck. After we snorkeled for a while, we sailed back. They gave us rum punch on the ride back and it was fantastic. We all really had a good time. We had lunch at local restaurant and did a little shopping. We then had to go to our second excursion. Parasailing!!!!. It was my first time and I was a little concerned. But all my doubts disappeared when we got onto the boat. The staff were very nice and everything was very safe. We parasailed tandem (with another person). My husband and I took pictures from 400 feet in the air. You can really see through the water. It was so beautiful. St. Thomas was buy far our favorite port.
We booked the stingray snorkel through Rccl. I had asked the staff at the excursion desk if we would have ample time to shop after this excursion, she assured me that we would. They took us to an island to do the excursion. The boat dropped us off and didn't come get us for several hours. There was no way to get back!!!. There was a net keeping the stingrays in the area near the beach. I thought that was sad. We did snorkel with them, but there is limited space and many people. I would much rather have snorkeled in deep ocean with them swimming freely as we did on the next cruise. The water here was very shallow. On this island there was a place you could rent jet skis. One couple in our group did, but it was very expensive. They also had one place to eat. They had hamburgers, cheeseburgers, or a chicken sandwich. That's all, for about $8.00 a sandwich. You really have no choice because you are held captive on this island. I was so glad when the boat came back to get us. When we got back to the mainland, we had less than an hour to look around and shop. I was mad that Rccl. told us a different story about this excursion. But, I decided to let it go.
It was a breeze. We kept our luggage with us and were the first people off the boat. It took less than 10 minutes. We also used the travel vouchers to get back to the airport. It went very smooth.
We had a great time on this cruise. I really enjoyed the ports we visited and most of the excursions. For the most part the staff on Rccl. Is great. The food was excellent and the ship is glorious. We really didn't have any major complaints or problems. I would defiantly sail Rccl. Again. Less
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