We live in Bergen County in Northern New Jersey. From our home it is a 45 minute drive to Cape Liberty. We arrived at the port at noon. We dropped off our luggage and then parked our car. From where we parked it was a short walk to the terminal. Check in was very quick. We had filled out our preboarding information online and printed out our set sail passes. We were on the ship by 12:30 and headed to the Windjammer for lunch.
We found the food on the Explorer of the Seas to be very good. Our dining room waiter was one of the best that we have had on any cruise. The variety and quality of the food in the Windjammer was excellent. Our only complaint would be that the coffee was awful on the entire ship. So bad that on the second day I switched to tea for the rest of the cruise. My husband, who isn't much of a coffee drinker, also stopped drinking the coffee and switched to OJ, lemonade or water.
At 1:30 we went to see our cabin. This was our 18th cruise and it was the first time that we had a balcony cabin. Since we are RCCL platinum members, we were able to book a balcony cabin for the cost of an oceanview cabin. It was very nice. The cabin seemed much larger because of the wall to wall glass sliding door. Great light. Great views. The bed was very comfortable. The towels were nice and thick. The cabin had plenty of storage. Our cabin attendant was excellent. Whenever we requested anything it was taken care of immediately.
We had been on this same cruise in May 2007. We left New Jersey and had one day cruising to Bermuda. This was our 8th time in Bermuda. Bermuda is our favorite island. We have seen just about everything in Bermuda on our previous cruises. This time we took a short walk from the ship to see the Dolphin Quest and then walked around the Dockyard. Our next day was a sea day. We had been to St.Maarten, St.Thomas, and San Juan several times before. We didn't book any excursions this time. In each port we walked around the pier area. We had 2 days sailing back to New Jersey.
Disembarkation went very smoothly. We were off the ship, picked up our luggage, went through customs, in our car and on our way home by 11:15.