Hi all... This was our first cruise, so I have nothing to compare anything to.
But, I will say, I have been a member of cruisecritic for a year, so I had tons and tons of tips, hints, and tricks and BIG expectations.
First thing off... I am proud as punch that everything was how I thought it was gonna be.. so much so, that we booked another 2 cruises already!
The ship the Explorer is mighty big, and plenty beautiful!
She was beautifully decorated for the Christmas season.
No matter how hard I try and find a down side to this beautiful ship, I can't. Everything to us was more than we expected. The service, the food.. WOW, what can I say! I have never been treated so well on a holiday before. (Thank YOU Royal Caribbean)
I joined cruisecritic and quickly found our roll call. And immediately starting making plans.
I was amazed at the tips I received. And very happy at the new friendships I have made, here at cruisecritic and also on the ship.
Really can't say enough about everyone that guided us through our first cruise.
The food was amazing!!! The cabin was more than I expected (middle of the hump was GREAT!!)
Everything was WOW!!!
Getting off the ship could use a bit of organizing... but, again.. we know no different, but everyone around us was not happy, we were just happy to have just had the best first cruise experience ever, so because it took a little longer getting off the ship was ok with us :D
The shore excursions were booked through the ship, and they were great too, we booked tours that showed us the islands, and we got exactly what we wanted. A fantastic tour of all the islands.
We did : St.Maartens, St. Kitts, San Juan and Labadee Haiti. Each island had its own little personality and beyond beautiful.
The entertainment on the ship was also very good!!! We were quite shocked at how overall the whole experience was... it was WOW from start to finish! We heard many many seasoned cruisers who were never happy.. many people complained (about every little thing) We kept thinking that if these complainers wanted to have this ultimate treatment, that perhaps they should go to a higher end cruise line.. The service and everything else that they complained about is out there, but it comes at a price. I am happy that cruises are now more affordable for more people. Seriously, I don't need someone to come into my cabin 10 times a day and pick up after me, or put chocolates on my pillow... but if I did, I am sure I could pay more and get someone to do that..
I am happy to now be a cruiser.. And, VERY happy with what Royal Caribbean has to offer..
I also love the fact that Bayonne is within driving distance from Ontario Canada.. its really an easy vacation... really liked cruising out of the cold down to the sun and fun, and then back to winter... will cruise out of here again!!!! And will pick Royal Caribbean!