Our group of 7 family members just returned from a 7 day Bahama Cruise on the Explorer of the Seas. This was my 5th cruise on the Explorer, and I am so sad to think that she will be replaced at the end of this year. The one main negative was embarkation. It has never taken more than 2 hours to board before, and I never found out what caused the delay. I don't usually curse, but this situation had my blood boiling. All seats were taken, and there were hundreds of people standing around waiting for their shuttle bus #'s to be called. Thank goodness this was the only major negative.
We had early dining in the Main Dining Room and were so happy with our service team of Marco & Marko. There was always so many choices on the menu, delivered just as ordered. Delicious.
As always we enjoyed the food at the WIndjammer Buffet and the Cafe Promenade.
My accommodations - the cheapest inside cabin on Deck 7. But it wasn't long before I went from rags to riches, thanks to a special promotion in Casino Royale. Everyone who had 200 points or more were entered into a chance to upgrade to the owner's suite.To my surprise my name was called.I was immediately escorted to the suite on the 10th deck. It was beautiful. A balcony, a jacuzzi, a huge TV which swiveled from living room to bedroom, a phone in the bathroom. Accommodations that I would never, ever, be able to afford. Many thanks to Helen, the Casino Host. She was great at keeping everyone busy in the casino. My sister=in-law, my grandson's girlfriend and my grandson all made it to the finals in the slot tournament. My grandson came in 3rd in the finals. My brother-in-law won the $500.00 raffle. We all had a wonderful time. I'm glad someone told Melvin (my original room steward on the 7th deck) that I was ok. When he didn't see me after i switched cabins, he was worried about me. Thanks Melvin for caring. Teddy Bear, my deck 10 steward was very attentive. In fact everyone I dealt with on the ship were helpful and courteous. I was worried that the fact that the tips are automatically added to your cabin account would cause a decline in service,but that did not happen. In fact we gave additional tips because of the exceptional services we received. My daughter and son-in-law had problems with a missing piece of luggage and the ship's crew tried to assist them with their loss. Eventually it was turned in by someone who thought his wife had packed it and took it into his room. My sister-in-law appreciated their room steward who assisted her in providing ice to her cabin every day to keep her insulin cold.We all had a wonderful time and were so sad that our adventure came to an end. When I got home and told my other daughter about winning the owner's suite, she commented that too bad the owner didn't come with it . We are all thinking about our next cruise, and it will definitely be with Royal Caribbean.