For a 5-night cruise, we really couldn't have asked for a better time. When we arrived at Cape Liberty on Sunday around noon, we had to wait in line (in our cars) for roughly 20 minutes to get to the luggage drop-off point. The line moved quickly and the men directing traffic were really efficient in making sure the cars unloaded quickly and then went to the parking lot. Once we were unloaded, my husband was back to join us within 15 minutes, if that. Obtaining our sea passes and taking our pictures went very quickly and we were on the ship by 1pm. We went straight to our rooms to drop off our carry-ons, and then went to the Windjammer for lunch. Before we entered the Windjammer, we bought our Soda Packages for the trip. My husband, son and I bought the soda package, and was definitely well worth it. Lunch was very good and was great to be able to finally sit and relax. The selection of food was wonderful and everything you could want. After lunch, we went back to the rooms and our luggage was there. Great job, RCI! After that, we walked around the ship to familiarize ourselves for the week ahead.
The ship left right on time Sunday night. We ate at the 6pm dinner and our waiter was Ali, and the assistant waiter was Johnson. They were MAGNIFICENT! Very professional, yet very fun, especially the last two dinners when they sang and danced! We ate in the dining room every evening and the food was delicious each night. It was hot, tasty, and presented beautifully. My son, who is 13, loved the food as well, but I am very lucky since he loves trying different foods. Monday, since we were at sea, my son went to the Arcade and we all laid out for a time. It was a little overcast in the morning, but then the sun was out for the remainder the day. The beverages went down great … my husband should know! Great day at sea! That night was the Captain's Dinner and was very nice. It is nice to dress up and enjoy a wonderful dinner. That evening, we went to the Vibeology Show in the Theater, and that was spectacular. Tuesday, we were up early to watch as we went around Bermuda to dock. The weather was sunny and in the low 80's. We arrived right on time and were off the boat quickly and on our way to Horseshoe bay. We took a taxi there and back, and each way was roughly $30.00 before tip. We arrived at the beach before anyone was really there, so it was great to have the ocean to ourselves for about 30 minutes … and then everyone arrived! We stayed for about 4 hours and then headed back to the ship to change. We ate lunch at the Frog and Onion. Really good food, yet expensive. Lunch for four plus 2 pints of beer was over $100.00 with tip. After that, we shopped at the local shops. After dinner that night on the ship, we went to the Dockyard Street Festival. My father stayed on the ship, while my husband, son and I went. It was a lot of fun. There was entertainment and different vendors selling jewelry, picture frames, paintings, and pottery. Wednesday, were up early and headed to Hamilton for a day of shopping. Another great day - same as yesterday. Great shops there and you can find anything and everything you wanted. My son's biggest thrill was buying all of the Harry Potter books - the UK versions (with the different covers than the US'.) We found very unique presents for us as well as the family members in the States. We had lunch at the Pickled Onion - very delicious. We arrived back at the Dockyards just to have enough time to visit the Maritime Museum. It was very interesting and a lot to see there. We only had an hour to see everything, and wished we had a little more time to visit it in more depth. We were on the ship by 4.15pm., in time for the 5pm departure. Dinner was great and stayed up for the midnight buffet that night. Viewing and picture taking was from 11.30pm-12.30am, and were able to go through the line to eat beginning at 12.30am. Beautiful and delicious!
Thursday, another day at sea. It would drizzle on and off for most of the day. Still able to get some sun in, though. We did sea the Ice Show Thursday and was fantastic! So well worth it! We also did eat at Johnny Rockets for lunch and was very good, and very busy! Thursday night, we did see the Farewell Show, which was a great way to end the cruise. Friday, arrived back in Port on time and were off the ship by 10.15am. We were Blue, and got off the ship, got our luggage quickly and my husband brought the van around quickly. We were on our way back home by 10.45am.
This ship, the Explorer, is amazing. So much to do every day. The shops on board are very reasonable, the Promenade was gorgeous, the Casino large (but lost a little money - oh, well!), the buffet for Breakfast and Lunch was fantastic and the food delicious, and the Arcade large enough for kids and adults to play in. The entire staff was such a delight and very accommodating. My son and I both loved the towel animals the stateroom attendant made each night. One of the things we looked forward to each day!
We were so impressed by RCI, we are seriously thinking of taking all of our children on a cruise next year instead of a week at Disney World! Fantastic job, RCI!