Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by southrncruisr: Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda
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Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda
This was our 2nd cruise. The first was on Majesty of the Seas to Bahamas in 2005. We are in our late 30's/early 40's and selected this cruise to try a larger ship and also to go to beautiful Bermuda.
Flew in from Charlotte to Newark on the day of the cruise. Landed at 11:00, picked up our bags and called for the car service. We had booked a town car from Carmel Limousines. I had called 3 days before we left to confirm and told them we were going to Cape Liberty but the driver still didn't know how to get there. He wanted a street address which I didn't have. Anyway, after only 1 missed turn, we arrived at the ship. Going through security and sign in was very quick. We had our picture taken and were seated by Noon. Boarding began shortly and we were on the ship at 1:00. Went straight to our room (Balcony Cabin, Deck 7, Hump). The cabin was great. We loved the hump balcony, the new bedding and had plenty of room for everything. For those who worry about elevator noise, there More is none. This ship is so big you are far away from the elevators.
Next went to the Windjammer for lunch and walked around the ship some. Muster drill was very quick because we waited until just a few minutes before 4:30 to go down. This worked out great because I got claustrophobic last time in the middle of so many people. After this, we returned our life vests to our rooms and went up to the Sun deck for Sail away. There was a 30-45 delay in leaving. I think someone possibly had gotten sick because there were ambulances outside the ship.
When we did take off, going under the bridge was not to be missed. You know that you are going to make it but it really doesn't look like it. There was a cheer when we did pass under the bridge. The delay made many of us late for the early dinner seating (15-20 minutes). Service at dinner that night was not consistent. During each course, there would be someone who didn't get their food and drinks didn't come til later in the meal also. This was completely corrected the rest of the cruise. My DH & I both had the vidalia onion tart which was excellent. He had the prime rib(very good) and I had the herb crusted cod. For dessert, each night the DH had ice cream with chocolate syrup. I tried the Ivory Fondue. It was good but not what I expected. I thought fondue would be hot but it was actually like a custard. After dinner, we went to the Welcome Aboard Show. There was a juggler Charlie Frye who was excellent and a comic by the name of Al Romas. He was the best comedian on the cruise.
Day 2 was a sea day. It was my first sea day ever and I loved it. We went to the helipad and then looked into the bridge. We then went and played mini golf. As many people have mentioned, this is the one part of the ship that is not well maintained. It was still fun. My DH then competed in the closest to the pin competition and got to play on the golf simulator. He found it not to be very accurate. It was good to get to play it in this competition rather than pay the $25/hour to play. After this we spent some time in the hot tubs at the Solarium and laid by the pool until it was time to get ready for the ice show. Everyone says it is not to be missed and they are right. The skating and the costumes are great. We were on the front row at one of the far ends. They were great seats even though we didn't get there as early as I wanted. Dinner that night was formal and we both had shrimp cocktails, caesar salads and filet of beef. Dessert for me was the souffle. Everything was excellent. Went to the Captain's reception which was fun since I didn't do this on our last cruise.
Day 3 I had ordered room service breakfast and we were eating it on the balcony as we pulled into Bermuda. What an experience!! Highly recommended. We bought the 2 day bus/ferry passes. Today was to be our sight-seeing day. The passes were sold out on the ship by day 2 so if you want to buy them on the ship get there early. We boarded a ferry for Hamilton. Walked around the town some. This town mostly is for shopping. Bought a couple of things at the Carole Holding store, then went to the bus terminal to ride the #10 bus to St. George. We thought that even though this would take an hour it would give us several views of Bermuda. When we got to St. George, we went to Bermuda National Trust Museum, Town Hall, had lunch at the White Horse Pub, and went to the Unfinished Church. We then took the ferry back to the Dockyard. For dinner tonight, we had the scallop risotto (Incredible) and then I had the garlic shrimp while my DH had the rigatoni with sausage. For dessert tonight I had the warm chocolate cake. Another great meal. Tonight was the dockyard festival. We spent most of the time at the Clocktower Mall shops. Finally we went to the Love and Marriage show. It was hilarious. Even though the questions were the same, some of the answers were great. After this, even though I was full, we went to the buffet at the pool party.
Day 4 was to be our beach day in Bermuda. We took the #7 bus to Horseshoe Bay. The views of the ocean from the bus were beautiful. We swam in the cove over to the right and walked the length of the beach. The waves here were very strong. Took the bus back and went to the rum cake factory and the dockside glassworks which was very neat. Tonights dinner was lobster which was good. They were bigger than I expected after what I had read. I had the roasted peach soup as an appetizer. I love the fruit soups on RCCL. Was disappointed that I didn't see them on the buffet at lunch. Dessert was the sampler plate which would have been better if I hadn't have that second lobster tail. Tonights show was a musician, Jay J Downs. His music and singing was very good. The jokes in between, not so good.
Day 5 was another sea day. I spent the morning reading in the Solarium which is so relaxing. After another lunch in the windjammer, it began raining so we spent some more time at the casino. We won on several slot machines during the week. We won $100 a couple of times and $200 a couple of times. Overall, however we gave the casino about $75 during the week. Tonight we decided we would try the Windjammer for dinner. There were a couple of items from the dining room on the buffet. Both the strip steak and the Mahi Mahi tempura were good. The bread and butter pudding was very good for dessert. I think in the future we'll just stick with the dining room. Tonight was the farewell show. It had Charley Frye again, this time doing magic. He is really good. There was also a comedian which was OK. I must say that Dave Chapman is an excellent cruise director. I enjoyed hearing him at every event.
On debarkation day, we had a nice long breakfast in the dining room. It was very good and I regretted not going there earlier in the week. Our color was the 4th one called. We were off the ship by 9:50. Took the ship transfers to the airport.
Overall, this is a beautiful ship with so much to do. We loved going to the Cafe Promenade during the week and getting a piece of pizza, sandwich or cookie. We would definitely go on this same cruise again. All of the food is very good. I really wish the windjammer food was hotter though. The only food I had all week that tasted bad was the iced tea. It was very strong so I just switched to water. A cruise is the perfect vacation and this one was the best ever. Less
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