Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Demodawn: Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda
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Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda
We, my DH and myself decided to add this cruise as an extra when we saw the one day sale with an OBC. We already have a cruise booked on this ship in Feb so we just couldn't wait until then. This will be our first cruise that we didn't have to fly to and first by ourselves. Day before cruise we went to Philly to spend the day with our daughter and then to the Fairfield hotel for the night. We were using our Marriott points so it wasn't costing us anything and we would be close to the port to be on the ship as early as possible. On our way to the hotel we got a call from our other daughter who said they just got a call from RCCL that our ship was delayed and not to get to the port until 4p and we wouldn't be boarding until 7p. What a let down but I have been following the cruise from aquacruiser live so I wasn't too surprised. Got to hotel and asked for late check out but they stated didn't have on the weekend and the hotel was full and that we could stay until 12 noon. Went to our More
room which was very nice and a mini-suite! I got on the internet and checked out our roll call to see what everyone else was going to do. Day 1 Got up and went to the free breakfast, I had the homemade waffles and DH had the breakfast sandwich both were very good! Back to the room to kill some time, checked out at 12 noon and went to Jersey Gardens Mall for some shopping, walked around and had lunch. Neither of us wanted to shop. We wanted to cruise so we decided since we both had books to just head to the port to sit and wait. We arrived just as the Explorer was backing in at 3P. The port had everything setup so that the arriving and leaving went to two different areas. It was very smooth and we were parked and inside in just a few minutes. We had to fill out paperwork as they had no computers so we did that and were told they would call us about 4:30 to come and get out seapass. We went to priority boarding and was given bus number 2 and found seats. There was food and soft drinks at several tables and we were brought up to date on what was happening several times by the staff. We were called right at 4:30 to come and get our seapass and picture then back to our seats. At about 7P they started calling the first shuttle and at 7:30 we were on the ship FINALLY! We went to our room, dropped our carry ons, read the compass that there was open dining so went down to eat. Sat at a table with several nice people and finally enjoyed our first meal. Walked around the ship, have been on voyager class before so was pretty familiar with ship. Went to the welcome back show and it was ok, comedian Tony Dow. We still hadn't sailed!! Later I learned that people didn't get on board until after 10P. We had the muster at 10:30 and it was quick. Finally sailed at 12 midnight, we were outside very cold but wanted to see going under the bridge. It was one of the most cool things I have seen. We were standing on top of the sky bar and it sure looked like the ship was going to hit,the captain said we had 12 feet of clearance. NYC was also very beautiful at night. Right after we went past the bridge down to the Promenade cafe for hot cocoa and coffee then bed. Day 2 Got up at around 10A (after going to bed at 2:30A) went to the Windjammer for breakfast. Really enjoyed it as usual. We have always have good meals on board! We had our Meet and Mingle scheduled for 11a in the chamber which was a change from the email. It was short. They gave away gifts and left, got to meet many of our new friends from the boards but also noticed a lot weren't there. Later we found out that many didn't receive the notice and didn't know of the change. We had about 120 registered and only about 25 showed up. It was cool up on deck but with a sweatshirt I was fine. We spent the afternoon by the pool watching the belly flop and dodge ball games. The crew is funny to watch. Allan the CD was having lots of fun. We had early dinner and met our new tablemates. They were wonderful and we had a great time together. didn't go to the production show tonight as we are cruising in Feb on the same ship and with be with our daughter and SIL so we decided to wait until then to see the shows as they will be the same. Watched Karaoke, walked around the ship and watched late night comedian Tony Dow. Day 3 We were in Bermuda when we got up and went to the windjammer for our usual breakfast. The ship was cleared by 10a, we had reserved a scooter, went to the shop got some instruction and we were off. It was pretty easy getting use to it. We went all over the Island, Horseshoe Bay, Gibbs Lighthouse, St George, Fort St Catherine, Tobacco Bay, Hamilton, The Flatts and back to the port. It took us about 6 hours which was perfect. The temp was in the 70's so it was a beautiful day! Dinner and show with JJ Dows, that was excellent! Tonight was the poolside buffet and then bed. Day 4 Shopped at the Dockyard along with all 3000 other passengers! Back to the ship, lunch by the pool and sailaway! Went to the gym and it was so beautiful watching the islands go by. It sure made the exercise much easier! Dinner, Casino, show with Greg Bonham, very full of himself. Later was the Love and Marriage Game, funniest we have ever seen! We cant write here what one of the newlywed said but there were lots of laughing people! Day 5 Ship day! It was too cold to be out on deck so all pool activities were moved inside. We just sat, read most of the day and relaxed. Again went to the exercise room which was very well outfitted and was never had to wait to get a machine. Production show tonight so went to the casino instead, won a little which makes is much more fun! Sat in the Champagne Bar and met 2 couples and enjoyed talking to them and found out one couple was a CCer and didn't get the change of time for the M&M. Zora was the bartender and was the best!!! Will find her on our next cruise! Also made our next cruise reservation without a date. Nice to know we can pick whatever cruise we want and have a OBC. Tonight was the Quest. Funny as usual, one team captain even dropped his boxers, not a pretty sight! Day 6 Boston-our daughters best friend meet us at the port and we went to Fenway, Quincey Market, Faniel Hall and had lunch at Cheers! Our daughters friend had to leave after lunch but gave us directions to the Sam Adams Brewery. It a very nice tour and its FREE with Beer at the end! Also learned a lot about the making of beer. We got to sample 3 kinds of beer at the end. We used the subway with 3 changes which were very easy. Ended right back at the port. It was cold about 35 degrees so I was glad to get to the ship. Dinner, Champagne Bar, show which was Sean and Dean comedian and jugglers of sorts, it was ok. Tonight was the parade which is always fun. Also the midnight buffet which we didn't go to. Day 7 Last Ship Day-we had booked the Galley Tour on the first day. Arrived at the Dining room at 11a where we were meet by the head chef, Richard Stelmach, who gave us a personal tour of the Galley, it was very interesting, he also answered any questions we had. Then upstairs to Portofinos where we were handed a Mojoito as we enter, had chef hats with our name on it (we couldn't find our name as they had our cabin number wrong so they made us new hats with the wrong different name but we didn't care ) first course was sushi, fancy breads, second course scallops and lobster with white wine, third course was filet with mashed potatoes, vegs (you could cut the steak with your fork!) red wine, desert was a cheese cake with different fruit toppings and champagne! Everything was wonderful! The head chef, head of hotel services, beverage manager and wine cellar master all ate with us and answers whatever questions we had. I sat next to Xavier, the hotel manager. He was amazed by my knowledge ( thanks to all my CC friends esp suzanne) told him where I got my information and he is going to check us out. We were there about 2 1/2 hours. The price was $55pp and you also got the cookbook which everyone signed for us. We felt it was well worth the money. Packed and spent the afternoon at the art auction watching what people were buying! Last dinner with our new friends, farewell show with Robbie Printz, last night at the champagne bar with Zora and bed. Will add here the new bedding is wonderful and so soft. I really liked the RCCL logo on it. Day 8 We left our room at 8a went to the dining room for a last meal, our number was called about 15 mins after we finished eating,we were light blue second color called. walked right to our luggage, thru customs and in our car on the Jersey turnpike by 9:30a! By far the easier we have ever done! Overall a great cruise, we found later an OBC of $31 pp on our seapass as a gift was the late departure. Less
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