Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by JenniferCT73: SHIP BEAUTIFUL, MOST STAFF TERRIFIC
Overall Member Rating
SHIP BEAUTIFUL, MOST STAFF TERRIFIC
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
Even though this ship is considered "old" in the Royal Caribbean fleet, I did not note any age. I did not observe any dated or faded décor. We had a balcony cabin, which was spacious and kept spotless. Our sons had an oceanview cabin and again was spacious, as well as spotless. Their housekeeper even folded their clothes! We tipped extra in the end for both cabins.
Our housekeeping steward was fully attentive and seemed to always be there if we needed something, even just to open the door if our hands were full. Dining staff, specifically our waiters and head waiter for the dining room, were terrific. Attentive, friendly, personable and always on hand. We had dinner each evening on deck 4 in the DaGama dining room. Food was tasty, quick and attractively displayed. We were surprised to enjoy "lobster night" during the 2nd formal night. I grew up by the beach in New England and expected a spiny or even a crayfish, but was delighted to have a full fledged New England More lobster tail! My husband actually had two tails. We visited both the Windjammer and Café Promenade on a few occasions. Food was alright, nothing special, but always had plenty on hand. The staff at the Windjammer were friendly and always smiling. The Café Promenade male staff was smiling and attentive, but a particular female staff member always had sour look. Maybe she had personal issues....who knows.
The amenities on board were fantastic, but due to weather conditions, my sons never was able to do the rock climbing or in-line skating, but we all enjoyed a game of mini-golf. There were plenty of clubs, pads of paper, pencils and balls on hand. Pools were never overly crowded and I never had a hard time finding a lounge chair. The pool bars were open and offered the drink of the day as well as other speciality cocktails.
We ate at Johnny Rockets one day for lunch and the staff members had fun dancing for everyone. The atmosphere was fun and lively, the food was so-so.
Shows were good. Not blow your mind, nor not meh. Just good. We attended a couple shows in the theatre, decks 3 and 4, and ice skating show and we also saw a comedienne. The comedienne was for 18+ and funny!
Bingo was fun, but expensive!!! $35.00 for four games or $55.00 for the electronic board for four games, but more chances to win.
We hit the cold front when we arrived at Port Canaveral and were icicles by the time we came back from our excursion. We did the combination airboat/Jungle Adventures park. Worth the price. Nassau was fun, a bit warmer. We rented mopeds, though that is frowned upon, assuming because you have to drive on the "wrong" side of the road and the locals drive like maniacs. However, we did not have an issue. Shop around from the different vendors, you'll be surprised at the different prices and all are willing to negotiate. Coco Cay was by far the best port. The cold front finally left and it was beautiful! Though, due to seas, we weren't sure if the tenders were going to be allowed to dock! Finally, after a couple hour delay, we were given the signal. I wish we could've stayed longer at Coco Cay. The beaches were beautiful, the hiking trails clean (we even saw wild chickens), and the barbeque was fun. We also rented jetskis, which were a blast. Most of the time, we were airborne. Not for the faint hearted!
Embarking was easy in NJ, but when we returned, omg what a pain. This was probably the only major complaint! We signed up for Express, so we could disembark earlier than arranged. We finally get called, wait in line, I go through, my youngest son goes through, then my oldest son gets stopped! His card was flagged. They did not link my credit card to him at the beginning of the cruise and he had a small balance on his account! Thank God my husband was behind him and didn't disembark yet. They had to fight their way back upstairs and wait almost an hour to get help at guest relations. Then, they had to fight their way back in line to disembark. Normally, it wouldn't matter, but my youngest son had to catch a train to Boston since he was going back to college the following morning.
Otherwise, I would recommend this ship and cruise line. We may actually sail with this particular ship again, but different ports. We'll see! I know this ship is in the news due to virus, but that can happen anywhere. I would not hold that against this line, but that's me!
Oh, last thing, don't jump into any beverage plan. Get the feel for what you want during your first day, then, if needed, purchase!
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