Background Info: This was our third Royal Caribbean cruise. We can not get enough! We have cruise on Majesty of the Seas (where we were married), Jewel of the Sea and now Explorer. This cruise was for my husband's 50th Birthday!
Travel to Port: We live on Long Island so travel to the port was a piece of cake. We did not hit any traffic and breezed in to beautiful Bayonne (haha). We unloaded our luggage, parked and were on the ship in no time. It really was a smooth and painless process.
Our Cabin: 9600 - We had a balcony cabin which we will never cruise without again. The balcony is so worth the extra money. We watch the sun come up as we were arriving in Bermuda and it really was beautiful. Our cabin stewart Luis was great and very accommodating.
Dining: The day we boarded the ship we went to the dining room to ask for a table change to a table for two. They were unable to accommodate us but put us on a waiting list. We never thought that we would get a table change as the list was about 20 people deep. So the fist night we went to dinner and at our table were two women traveling with out their husbands and a mother and daughter traveling together. My husband was the only man at the table. I felt bad for him, go guy or sports chatting. But the women were all very nice and talk was easy. That night when we went back to our room, there was a note that our table had been changed! That was really great. We had a nice table for 2. Our new waiter and assistant were terrific!
Ship Info: The ship was really nice. I was a little disappointed in the condition of the ship, somethings looked worn and tired. Overall, the ship was very pretty. Everyday they continued to work on it, painting this, varnishing that... We really enjoyed that there were so many New Englanders on the ship. This was the first ship that we have been on that had a ice rink and we were impressed that it had real ice! We also loved the promenade. It has that New Orleans feeling.
Entertainment: The entertainment was excellent. The first night was a comedian. The second night was the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancer who were excellent. The Third night was supposed to be at the Dockyard but because we had some showers, was cancelled and the show was on the ship, another comedian but he was great. The third night was a juggler and he was Excellent. When we left port in Bermuda is was a little rough at sea and this guy had his work cut out for him battling the rocking of the ship. I thought that I would get bored after a while but he was funny and put on a great show. The last night we saw the Royal Caribbean Dancers and Singers Preform the opening of "Fast Forward" which was excellent. On the last night we also saw the ice show which was excellent. The organized activities on the ship were also great. The Newlywed Game was hysterical, The Quest is always a rip, The Belly Flop contest (my husband got the Bronze Metal!), Bingo all were excellent. Anna Banana (one on the assistants to the cruise director) was great.
Bermuda: We bought the 2 day bus pass and we went to Horseshoe beach. It was breath takingly beautiful. We brought our own snorkel equipment (the benefit of not flying). We saw some really big fish. The water was warm and calm. Then the dark clouds came and we exited the beach quietly as the bus was packed on the way there. Well some people also exited quietly the bus was packed and we made our way back to the dockyard standing room only. It was fine, we had enough sun for one day (it is really strong). We went back to the ship had a late lunch, showered and walked around the dockyard as it had stopped raining. The next day we took the bus to Hamilton. We walked around the shops for a few hours then made sure we left plenty of time to make it back to the ship.
Summary: This cruise was very relaxing for us. We sat by the pool everyday, took in the sun, band and activities, ate and drank...It was so nice! We really lucked out with weather they were predicting showers and clouds for both days in Bermuda before we left and we did how a few showers in the afternoon on the first day but it did not ruin the day at all. The second day was windy but really sunny. We had a great time and look forward to our next RCCL vacation.