Sailed out of Miami Jan 14, 2007. Easy embark, on the ship by 1P.m. even though docs said don't board until 2p.m. I would suggest carrying on at least one suitcase, as our luggage took a long time to get to us, even though everyone else had theirs early! Had an promenade cabin-loved it! Not too much storage space, but we worked it out. More on Carnival and the Serenade, but this is an older ship. the shower was, as said, quite small, but I always shower in the gym anyway. Missed the amenities they have on Princess, like shampoo, conditioner, facial soap, etc. Our shower soaper didn't work-no big deal, but there is NO place to put your shampoo in the shower! Bed was fine, Carnival has better beds, and the Serenade has the best bed we've tried. Princess beds aren't too great. Anyway.....very nice ship, laid out pretty well. The Promenade was fun. Shopping typical, but long lines in the gift shop. Loved having the bakery for a late night cookie and milk!
The parade in the Promenade was ok-not worth missing something else for, but if you are around,it's kind of fun. Better to watch from our promenade stateroom!
the Library is very nice and well stocked. This ship is the only one with an ocean lab. We took the tour, and quite enjoyed it. sign up in the Library. 1/2 the people don't show up, so don't worry if it looks full.
FOOD. typical cruise fare, nothing outstanding, but good. Our wait staff was not great, but we got our food. Our assistant waiter was a downright joke, but I think the rest of the dining room is better. We LOVED Portofino's-did it the last night. A great way to end the cruise. Next time, I will book 2 or 3 night there and try different things. On the Serenade, they let you choose as many choices as you want, but on the Explorer, only ONE. Worth $20!
Buffet was ok-again, nothing really great, but always could find fruit, omelette,etc. Missed having a poolside place to eat. I do like that about Carnival and Princess, I think RCCL really misses out on that aspect. They won't let you leave your chair, so you can't go get food, and bring it back. Very annoying!
ACTIVITIES. OK on the poolside stuff. The entertainment was pretty bad. They 2 big Vegas type shows were good. But the other nights were pretty awful. I think it was a bad week. The first night they had a preview with a couple doing yo-yo tricks (seriously). We didn't see them again. So they flew in a piano player (yawn), and then a really really bad comedian. I love good entertainment, and they were weak here. The Serenade had fabulous entertainment, so I was hoping for better. (sorry I forgot to mention we did the Serenade 3 months prior). Cruise director great, but the newlywed game got a little off-color, but the funniest night of the cruise for sure!
Spa was nice, good yoga class-although I think it's silly to be asked for a tip for a yoga class that you pay for!
PORTS-Belize-did cave tubing with Tom Greenwood. Can not say enough good things about him and his son. This is the BEST tour in Belize, and they were fantastic. Very nice manners and intelligence. YOu will LOVE him!
COSTA MAYA-Ruins with DAvid and Ivan. A little mix up finding the bus, but it was good. I really liked the beach and eating at the Cat's Meow. Beach massage was not good, but my friend next to me had a great one-so it's a crap shot on who you get! A great day-I would shop here, best shopping.
COZUMEL. Shopped, and went to Chankannab park. Worth $16. Best nacho's I've ever had! Snorkeling was mediocre, but a relaxing day. Our friends did dolphin encounter and loved it!
GRAND CAYMAN Sting RAy city with Capt. Marvin-what a blast! I LOVED this experience. So cool-then we walked along the beach. Don't go to Grape something beach-total rip off. Try another beach, maybe in front of a hotel. Prices are Steep for food/drinks there! Shopping not a bargain, do it in Cozumel or Costa Maya!
Perfect weather, windy on last day. Played on the sport deck, did roller blading, basketball, ping pong, shuffleboard, etc. Ate at Johnny Rockets, worth the $4! last day was packed, get there early!