Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by ondeckatsea: Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
Overall Member Rating
Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
We arrived at Cape Liberty around 11 am and were on the ship promptly at 11 when the doors opened. This would be our 14th Royal Caribbean cruise and the first on the Explorer. We found the ship to be in excellent condition and our cabin had just been recarpeted and was immaculate. Wonderful bedding! Our cabin was "the" junior suite with the funny balcony that has a slight obstruction in the middle of the "window' looking out to sea, over the side of the ship. It was fine and didn't bother us a bit. I think we might now be spoiled because the junior suite was lovely. We were on deck 10 and there was no noise at all from the action up above. This location was perfect. I had signed up for the meet and mingle and showed up for the meeting but unfortunately was not feeling all that well. I came down with a really bad case of laryngitis and couldn't talk for several days. I was well taken care of by the ships doctor and put on antibiotics. A good reason for taking the cruise insurance. It More
is very expensive to receive medical care on board! As briefly as possible I'll report the "goods and not so goods" about the cruise. Goods....the Cabin was great, the shows pretty good, the ice show was absolutely fantastic, the ship itself is still beautiful and in good shape, the Portofino's restaurant was one of the best meals we've ever had on a ship and we loved it, the crew was friendly, the cruise director was very good. We enjoyed the concierge lounge as we are Diamond members of Crown and Anchor. It's a nice perk. We found the lunches in the dining room to be very nice and breakfasts nice as well. The Windjammer puts out some good food but is a bit of a mad house. They usually are with people looking around for tables and all the usual buffet confusion. The staff is helpful and were always asking us if we needed help and cleaning tables as soon as they could. The "not so good".....Thanksgiving dinner was absolutely horrible. We were embarrassed as I had bragged to our British friends that we Americans have a bountiful and lavish celebration at that particular holiday. This was downright pitiful! We each got 3 extremely small pieces of turkey, a small mound of potatoes, 3 carrot sticks, 3 brussel sprouts, a teaspoon of cranberry sauce (yes, a teaspoon!) a tiny lump of flavorless stuffing hidden under the turkey. They ran out of candied yams. The dessert was a teeny piece of apple pie at the crust end about 1 1/2 inches wide. Remember school cafeteria lunches and you've got the perfect picture. I don't know what happened. We've been on cruises at Easter and at Thanksgiving before and they were very nice. On 3 other occasions the meals were not up to snuff. The lobster tail was uneatable. Dry as a bone! I should have sent it back but things were running slow so I made the best of the 2 salty bites I got out of it. Steaks were overcooked and hard as a rock. Lamb shank was all bone. I guess on a ship this size it's nearly impossible to expect perfection but they could and should do better. That's about it on the "bads" so all in all we can't complain all that much. Oh, the mini golf course needs some work but is still fun to use. I think in retrospect that we prefer the Radiance class. Overall, we both agree that the service is more personal and the ships are much prettier. This is just our personal opinion and I'm sure others would say just the opposite. Leaving from Cape Liberty was nice. The embarkation was smooth and the view sailing past our beautiful Statue of Liberty was wonderful. The skyline of NY City was lovely at sunset and it was a treat to sail under the Verazzano Narrows bridge. The first day at sea (this was November 12th) was chilly but the temps warmed up after that. We got into our first port, St. Martin late in the afternoon so there wasn't much time to do anything which was unfortunate. We were rained out in St. Thomas and also in Barbados, 2 nice beach days. St. Kitts is getting built up. I wish they would do more rehab on the lovely old West Indies buildings and spend less money on the shopping plaza they've built at port. Basseterre use to be one of the most scenic ports but seems to be getting more and more commercial. Just another tee-shirt port with hustlers aplenty! Too bad. In San Juan we walked around. It was another short day, only about 5 hours. We've always found it a great walking city, Very interesting. In Dominica we walked around, got hounded by the taxi drivers and rushed back to the sanity of the ship. We've been there several times and it is a wonderfully scenic island. It was one of the days I was a little under the weather so I can't put blame on anyone. The disembarkment in NJ was by far the easiest one ever and we've taken 20 cruises. They do a great job. It was perfect. I wish all disembarkations were this well run. The other ports should take lessons from the folks at Cape Liberty. Our next cruise, #21 will be in Europe on the Jewel. Back to the Radiance class...still the best! Less
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