What a great cruise, our third time on the Explorer and it just keeps getting better!
Embarkation was a breeze, on the ship within 15 minutes of being dropped off.
We were treated with beautiful weather, even the sea days down and back were a lot warmer than we anticipated, that was definitely a bonus.
The best part of this ship is her crew, they are some of the best we have sailed with in over 25 cruises. They are very polite and helpful, never did we experience anything negative from any of the crew. Our suite attendant Nicolas was truly amazing, this is the second time we have had him and he was great! Everywhere we went on the ship we found the crew extremely helpful and happy to be of service.
The food was above average, very good in all the venues we had meals, Portofinos was fantastic, we had dinner there 2 nights. As suite guests we also had Portofinos available to us for breakfast and once again the crew was fabulous and the food outstanding.
We are not much for the shows but did see the ice show one evening and it was very good, definitely worth going to see.
The ports are what you make of them, not a fan of Samana but we heard there were some nice excursions there, we didn't get to San Juan until 4pm but it was nice to walk around town and see some sights. St Thomas is always a great port for us, good beaches, shopping, and restaurants, we had a full day doing all of the above. Labadee was great, we had been there a few times before but this time we rented a Cabana on Barefoot Beach, this was really nice and we all had a great time, even ran into some crew from the Liberty that was docked with us , we have cruised with them before and it was great to see them.
One of the best parts of any cruise for us is to run into friends that were made on past cruises, we had the opportunity on this cruise and it was great to get together over a cocktail and chat.
We had the opportunity to spend some time before dinner in the Concierge lounge every night, the Concierge Nizar Laatri was fabulous, even outside of the lounge he was very visible and always checking with us to make sure we were enjoying our cruise, and making sure we had everything we needed to make our vacation great! Aevon and Duran handling the bar service were first class, one of the better experiences we have had in the lounge.
The Explorer is showing her age a bit, but still a beautiful ship, our suite was is fantastic shape and there were no issues, we really didn't notice much more than a little wear and tear that would be nominal for her age. The voyager class ships are great, and offer a lot, we are not a fan of the mega ships and usually travel on these and smaller classes of ships, there is plenty to see and do on the Explorer.
Disembarkation was a breeze, we were off by 8:45, had our luggage and through customs in 20 minutes, it's always nice for this to go smooth, especially when your are ending a fantastic trip!
If you are considering a voyage on this ship we would highly recommend it!
We will be sad to see her leave Bayonne, we are taking her on the final trip out of Bayonne when she repositions to Port Canaveral, we are excited to be on this trip and can't wait to be aboard her again!