That was the first thing that popped into my head as I saw our ship. Explorer of the Seas is a huge ship. But it did not feel that way on board.
Booking the cruise was easy to do from the website. Our one excursion (my mother is not well and is a four year cancer survivor) was also easy to book from the webpage once we had our reservation number. Being Canadian, I liked that all the prices on the site were in Canadian dollars. Our cruise documents came in around 4 weeks before sailing. All in all no problems.
Embarkation was not long at all. They had separated the lines according to deck (each set had 4 or 5 personnel to check you in). It was quick and painless. We also got to skip the embarkation photo since two ladies in front of us complained about waiting in line for them.
Ate here for lunch since we got in around 11:00 and our stateroom was not ready yet. The buffet was quite good. Some items were a little too salty for my taste. The view was spectacular coming from the great lakes it was nice to see the sea.
Our cabin was one of the promenade staterooms facing the Cafe Promenade on deck 7. It was bigger than what we expected. The beds were nice and comfortable. We wished there were more channels on the TV since we are night owls and like to catch a late night show or movie (sometimes we go to sleep at two thirty or three). We had chocolate covered strawberries delivered to us by some friends. Did not need a extension cord and used the available hair dryer. It was fine. All in all a nice cabin.
Main Dining Room:
The main dining room was really elegant and spacious. We were seated near a window in the Mellegain Dining room. We were second seating and did not feel rushed except chef's night (gala buffet set up). Recommend second seating for those without small children. Our waiter, Michael was very attentive and funny. Eli, the assistant waiter, was from the Philippines where my mom's from and they hit it off really well. Because our table was 308 and in a corner that could not see the main stairwell, the waiters had fun playing jokes in our area. Everyone got a kick out of that. The food was good too, only one complaint on the first night with fish bones in the dip which Michael told the chef about.
We did not spend a lot of time in the lounges, however, they were all very elegant and some really authentic looking. Loved looking at the fish in the Aquarium Bar. The music was good too.
The Palace is huge, it has three stories. The shows were quite good. Our Love and Marriage Game was hilarious. One couple was married 50 years and they were quite funny. The comedians were good too.
SEE THE ICE SHOW. It is a must do on a Voyager class ship. Enough said.
Were okay. Some deals were better than others. Some items were got cheaper on land, some not. You need to now what you are shopping for.
The main pool was almost always crowded except late at night ( not pool party night) and when in port. The Solarium was nice for adults with no children there.
Spa and Gym: The place is very nice and the music in the spa is very soothing. The gym is more high pace. The sauna and steam rooms are rarely used so take advantage of them in the changing rooms. The people were very friendly and remembered our names. Have pictures with them.
We only did one excursion which was very good in Cozumel. The water sports are not to be missed. If I could do it again, would do the mayan ruins.
Had a wonderful time and would do it again in a heart beat.