Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by elhenry: Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
Overall Member Rating
Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
We were a group of 12 , aged 6 to 74, celebrating the parents' 50th anniversary. Although I will point out where I think good could be made better, an excellent time was had by all, and you should have no qualms booking the EOS
Cabin: I was in an connecting cabin forward on the 6th floor. It seemed that many of the places I wanted to see were aft, but the promenade was only one floor down. The room was typical: small with a cute little balcony. The bed was amazingly soft (my father, in the connecting room, said he wanted to take it home.)
Roger, our room steward, was quiet, unobtrusive and extremely efficient. My 13 year old nephew was in the Pullman in my room and when I mentioned to Roger that he found it uncomfortable, an extra duvet appeared as a mattress pad that night. Plus my six year old niece (I was in the kid's room
Food: I eat in the dining More room whenever possible. I will admit that I have become a fan of anytime dining, and guess what: for breakfast and luncher, RCCL has anytime dining in the dining room. You show up when you want (I remember way back in the day when it was scheduled like dinner and you had the same tablemates, like dinner) and can ask for a table all to yourself. Which we did. The service was as pleasant and ever so slightly variable, just like other anytime dining cruises. Not enough to detract from the pleasure of eating when and where you want. And at breakfast, the fried eggs were always done perfectly, not always a certainty.
Small quibble: the breakfast menu had no daily specials, as I have seen on other lines.
Larger quibble: The DR lunch menu almost never changed (I am vegetarian, and two veg options for the whole nine day cruise. And only one available on any one day.) *Very* limited appetizer (as in one soup) selection. Again, if other lines can change lunch menus every day, RCCL is big enough and good enough, they can too.
The Windjammer had very interesting veg options (Moroccan veggies and couscous, stir fries), so if you're a cafeteria person, this could be for you.
Dining Room: Made me realize that traditional dining has its advantages! Chris, our waiter from the Philippines, was wonderful. One night I brought a cheesy table ornament for my parents ' 50th. Chris saw it and organized a Happy Anniversary song, even though we had not bought a cake and had not asked. The six year ate someone's side dish carrots one night and liked them. Ten minutes later, a full child sized plate of carrots appeared. Aden, the head waiter from Turkey, arranged for an Indian vegetarian entrEe each night for me. If you are veg, (and even if you aren't) I can't recommend this highly enough. He also brought an extra one for the table. He entertained the kids with card tricks. It was the first time I tipped a headwaiter more than recommended.
Since my meals were special order, I can't speak to the regular menu, except to say I enjoyed all the appetizers (especially the chilled fruits soups) and the chocolate desserts.
I do not spa. My teenage niece, her friend, my sister, her DH all tried and liked it, particularly the massages and facials. Usual Steiner overcharging, but hey, it's a cruise!
I used the exercise facilities almost every day. Many many treadmills (never had to wait), ellipticals, bikes and newfangled stairmasters. Reasonably good shape.
Jogging track was forward, 14th floor. Bad: dodging "mall strollers" looking for lounge chairs. Really good: quarter mile length rather than some lines with tiny .10 mile laps .
Entertainment: DO NOT MISS the ice show. You will not believe you are on a ship. As for the rest, I am not a show person, but I didn't hear complaints from those who were. Nothing extraordinary either.
Casino: Did not hit the tables. Did play video poker and was pleased that *all* machines were "choose your denomination" rather than just a few quarter machines for cheapskates like me.
Pools: Loved the solarium and its padded lounge chairs. Adults aren't as quiet as you would think, but still made it through a rather long book. Hot tubs are large and accommodating, but not under the sun. Salt water was truly salty this cruise.
Activities: I am a trivia buff. They had trivia three times a day on port days, which was great. They repeated questions, which was not great. Still didn't get a water wallet
Ports: Have been to every port before, so took it easy. However, highly recommended: Butterfly Farm in St. Martin (dynamic speakers, learn about butterflies and get punch to put on your fingers so butterflies will land there. our second time there, we liked it so much) and Coral World in St. Thomas a cute little aquarium themed outdoor park, very kid friendly with please touch exhibits and a "semi submersible" where you can see lots of fish without snorkeling.
Overall: thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and, particularly with a large, multi-age group, would not hesitate to sail EOS again. Less
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