It was a quick drive to Cape Liberty,and I parked the car just in time to beat the horrible storm that pelted our home port on September 6, 2008. After checking in, I met one of my cruise critic friends in the Diamond lounge at the terminal and we boarded the ship. We found that our stateroom (Grand Suite #1548) was ready so we dropped our carry on luggage off. I was very pleased with the cabin, which featured two sliding glass doors and a double wide balcony that held two loungers, two chairs, and a small table. The living room area consisted of two club chairs and a sofa in soft pastel green and beige corduroy, glass coffee table and end tables, and a tv. Separating a glass wall that concealed three large closets, was a granite counter top which topped abundant storage drawers. Wine glasses were displayed on a back bar of shelves. The bathroom featured a double sink, a marble shelf, and a deep luxurious bathtub. Everything was absolutely spotless, and I must add that Royal Caribbean has consistently had the cleanest ships out of all eight lines that I have sailed over the years.
Just before sailaway, the skies opened up, and the rain fell in horizontal torrents, washing over the decks as we watched, spellbound, from Dizzy's Lounge above. We experienced rough seas, but Captain Erik and his crew kept us on an even keel, and maneuvered this huge ship effortlessly through the stormy seas.
I had been onboard this ship last December with my husband and married children, and I had read some posts regarding less than stellar food quality, so I was a bit apprehensive, wondering if the cuisine had indeed changed for the worse. My fears were unfounded as I soon discovered that some people can't be satisfied, no matter what. I've been cruising for 28 years on multiple cruiselines, and I have to say that the food onboard Explorer deserved two thumbs up on this cruise.
I didn't see the stage productions nor the ice show, as I had seen them before, and I was occupied with many other pastimes onboard, such as mingling with new friends in the CL and karaoke, which I thoroughly enjoyed because I love singing! Ricardo, the concierge, is very attentive to passengers' needs. He is quite efficient and very cordial. I enjoyed champagne, canapes, & chocolate covered strawberries each evening before dinner. The entire crew on this ship interact with each other in a gracious way, and it makes for a friendly atmosphere. I was fortunate to dine with Captain Erik and it was a memorable experience. He is a perfect gentleman, as are all of his officers.
We arrived in Bermuda sailing on smooth seas. Being I had visited Bermuda previously, I boarded a ferry to Hamilton, and upon returning to the Dockyard, I shopped at the Clocktower Mall then went in the water at Snorkel Park, which is very close to the ship. All in all, this cruise was quite enjoyable and relaxing. From the spa to the solarium pool, I completely enjoyed every element of pampering as usual. My first RCI cruise was aboard the old Song of Norway, where I had to climb an outside staircase to reach the Crown Lounge. Part of the adventure was wondering if you could hold onto your skirt and the handrail at the same time. I imagine that a few gentlemen might have wondered if their toupees would fly off. The younger generation has the Rock Climbing Wall....We had the outer staircase on the windy top deck! There's something for each and every age to do onboard these RCI ships. That's one of the reasons I enjoy them so much, so yes, I "Got Out There" again!