This was my 4th cruise on Explorer (since 2012), my boyfriends 19th time (Since 2008). We go on three cruises a year. There is a reason why we always go back. I have cruised before on Norwegian and Carnival. I'm easy to please and no complaints about either, I just really like Royal.
We live in Virginia and leave around 630 am to get in around 11-1130. We get a junior suite and my boyfriend is a Diamond Plus member so we get to use the VIP line. Always goes smooth. We get on the first shuttle and we are off to the ship, although it is not convenient to have to take a shuttle to and from the ship, its not that bad. (We are looking forward to the new port with parking garages and an easy access to the Quantum of the seas...already booked for Jan 2015!)
Due to the fact my boyfriend has sailed with EOTS 19 times, he has made good friends with all the crew and it takes us a little longer to get from deck 1 to the Sky Bar (deck 12).
We did buy the alcohol package, included all beer (except Fosters) all top shelf excluding Patron but including Patron cafe, wine up to 12$ a glass, I think the packages have changed. We did bring a case of water and had it delivered to our room. (Just add an additional luggage tag with it)
Arrived in our rooms (1312) at 1-130 pm, all our luggage was in our room and our buddy Howard was our room attendant (again! we were so happy to see him) .
Off we go! Beautiful view of NYC. Ran up to the top of the ship to see how crazy close the antennas get to the Verrazaono bridge.
First two days: at sea. Pool chairs on the pool deck are a little hard to get so get there early. Fortunately for me we always travel with my boyfriends dad and he has a grand suite. He lets me use his card to use the chairs on the Gold member only decks.
Towels: If you lose it they charge you 25$ (I believe they have taken that charge away)
Food: always good, I'm a health nut, so I try to eat as healthy as I can. I usually bring my own tea, almonds and some other little snacks I like.
Windjammer- you can get your omelets with egg whites, just ask the lady doing the omelettes.
Dining room (My time dining at 8:30 pm), I usually don't eat this late but we are so busy during the day it works well for everyone) Tip-If you like something tell you waiter you want it again the next day and they will have it ready for you. Again, I am a health nut but I do love my sweets, the first night I will tell the waiter/waitress I would like a bowl of berries and a scoop of sugar free vanilla ice cream for dessert every night...by the end of the cruise everyone at our table will end up having the same thing.
Bermuda-We love. Met some Bermudians on the ship and have stayed good friends with them. We take the ferry to Hamilton and they pick us up and take us all over Bermuda. Make sure you have some Rum Swizzles! Gombey-good bar and good beach, near the airport. Have a BBQ at their house and visited with their family.
Nightlife-we usually go to Snorkel Park, (within walking distance from the port). There is a cover charge to get in and drinks can be expensive. (Unless you can get a crew member to buy you drinks, they get them much cheaper)
The Chamber is fun too at night. Unfortunately DJ Savio was on his break and went home for a few months, he is our favorite. Mr. Bean (bar manager) did call him from India so we could say hello! (We will see him again on the next cruise, Jan 31).
Gym- It is nice and at the front of the ship, its a little trippy using the treadmill and Elliptical when the boat is moving. They have a good variety of cardio machines and weights. (Bring Ipod, it can get a little boring without music or TV)
We did the Quest game show, that was fun, where the ice skating rink is.
Always so sad when our trip comes to an end, we eat breakfast in the dining room to avoid the crowds on the day we get back to port.
Next cruise Jan 31! 21 more days!!