This was our 3rd trip on the Explorer of the Seas within a year. She is a beautiful ship, however it is getting close for time for a refurbishment. You can see wear and tear in the carpet, bathroom facilities, elevator buttons, etc.
First, I would like to say thanks to a couple of people that don't normally get noticed.
Would like to start off with Wendy, the Loyalty and Cruise Sales Manager, we have met her once or twice in past cruise, but she greeted us like someone she has know for a long time.
Next, The HR director, Mark. Mark has set up a veteran's get together on one of the sea days. On this cruise we had veteran's from the Korean War until present. We all had a chance to tell a little bit about ourselves and make a connection. Throughout the cruise we would see fellow veterans and spend a few minutes talking. There were some other things Mark did that made us feel part of the family. Thanks Mark.
Cabin.. We were on Deck 9, 9662. The cabin was comfortable, even though the thermostat was extremely touchy. Our cabin attendant, Marvin, did a good job keeping the cabin clean. His towel animals were great, and he had a unique way of presenting them.
Bar service. This is an area where we weren't too pleased with.
The service just didn't seem as good as it has been in the past.
When we go to the evening shows in the Palace Theatre, we sit in the balcony. There was no, waiter service up there. You could see three or four servers on the main floor, but nobody upstairs.
We heard a rumor since, we were in the "Off Season" Service was cut back on. Well, they lost about 8 drink sales from us.
Next, finding a quiet bar, that isn't smoke filled.... Mission impossible. My wife and I like to have a quiet drink at the end of the day and I don't smoke.
The dining room bar service was good. The server for our section was Sherlene. She did a wonderful job. It was her first time doing this particular job, and after a couple of nights, she got into the hang of it, and her confidence built.
The menu was the same as we have seen on all of our cruises on the Explorer. It is varied enough where we didn't get bored with it, and all of the food we ordered was presented well, and tasty. Once our wait staff learned what we liked, they would make recommendations.
I do miss the escargot on the menu. Bay scallops in my mind is not a suitable sub.
Our servers, Imelda and Carlene did an excellent job. All you had to do was ask and it was there. They brought smiles to our faces.
We had breakfast most mornings in the Dining Room. The daily specials, didn't change that much each day. Service was normally very good, even though we had a couple of mornings where the server wasn't really a morning person.
We had one meal in Portofino's. The meal was excellent, but the server wasn't on his game that evening. We had to ask for coffee, and some other little things took away from the experience.
Since this was our 3rd cruise on the Explorer..and we had seen all of the productions shows at least twice, we found other things to do in the evening. The headliner shows were very good. The "Motown Divas", "Beatlemania" and Rick Novell.
We will be sad seeing the "Explorer of the Seas" leaving Port Liberty. The "Quantum of the Seas" is too big of a ship for us.