Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Travel723mom: Slightly slipping
Overall Member Rating
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
We traveled with six people to celebrate daughter's HS graduation. We booked three cabins, one of which was balcony, all on deck 6 aft. This was our 5th RCI cruise and our 9th cruise as a family. The positive for this cruise was the embarkation point. Being from Denver, we spent four extra days in NYC before the cruise. The port was nice and accommodating, but construction is being done in preparation for Quantum. Boarding ship went smoothly, as was our luggage delivery. Our room attendant and main dining room staff were very good, we dined in the Columbus every night but one, we dined in the Windjammer for breakfast, lunch and one dinner. The Windjammer was disappointing in the evening, only the station in the back was open and the seating was limited each night. The food selection was the same from day to day, and a bit of variety at lunch would have been nice. Also, would have been nice to have a special American menu on July 4th, as we have experienced on other RCI cruises More
previously. The ports were great, especially Bermuda, but the time in port at St. Maarten was very limited, (1:00 arrival) and San Juan (9-3:30 essentially). Hard to do multiple activities in such limited time periods. Labadee was fabulous as always, although there were many foods that were running out on the lunch BBQ. The ship is ready to be dry docked. Our room had an old TV, though the rooms next to us had flat screens, and the rooms were in need of refurbishing and repair. The availability of TV programming and movies is lacking compared to every other cruise we have been on. The first day at sea one of the pools was being repaired, that made for crowded pool. The activities were very sparse on the pool deck, and often there were activities listed in compass that didn't happen. One day the "pool games" were greatly lacking in enthusiasm from the cruise director staff. The entertainment was good, but some of dancing/singing shows were a bit disappointing. The ballroom couple was fabulous, but we have a family of dancers and found the shows a bit lacking. Hard to follow Broadway shows in NYC. Karaoke was overrun by the teenage crowd every night, I think the participation should be limited to one song per person/ or duo. Very few people could participate compared to hearing the same teenagers over and over again. Leaving the ship was a DISASTER. For some reason the luggage was not available as early as it should have been. There was one elevator that was not working, and the crew was blocking the stairs so people could not get off ship. Communication between the port and the ship was poor. IT was 11:30 before all had gotten off the ship. One of the men running the shuttle was short-tempered and there was very little explanation given to passengers who were waiting. We love Royal, but this trip didn't live up to the usual standard. I wonder if the new method of dividing tips has affected the superb service we have come to expect. The captain was great, however, very friendly and highly visible. I would love to go back to Bermuda and spend more time there, beautiful island. I will add we had to see ship doctor on last day for an ear infection, she was wonderful, capable and the price was reasonable for treatment and prescriptions (around $130 for office visit). Less
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