Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by KurtMo: Explorer of the Seas - Western Caribbean
Overall Member Rating
Explorer of the Seas - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: We arrived at the Miami airport at 12 noon, picked up bags and caught a taxi to the port. By shortly after 1 PM we were boarding the ship. Very painless and easy!
Dining: Food in Windjammer was hit-and-miss for breakfast; french toast, omelet station, and waffles good, pancakes terrible! Cafe Promenade was a nice spot to grab coffee and pizza/pastry/sweet snack. Main dining room was mostly good, some dishes disappointed. Sea Bass, beef filet, lamb, crab cakes were very good, flourless chocolate cake is awesome! Overall, I would like to see the food quality and menu improve a notch.
Public Rooms: Ship is well-maintained and very attractive (think Hyatt or Marriott style decor); the promenade is a great place to walk or grab a quick bite/snack at the Cafe. The soft-serve ice-cream on the promenade is pretty good as well. Aquarium bar and Schooner bar have nice atmosphere, but were a bit "smoky" for our tastes. Library is honor-system and should be an More early stop if you need a book -- seemed a bit understocked for a ship this size. Best spot in the Windjammer is aft (Island Grill Area) so you can look out over the ship's wake.
Entertainment: Ice show was very good, production shows were good. "The Happenings" were a headliner that I knew after one song were just a 20-30 years too old for me! Comedians were decent.
Cabin: We booked an inside quad, so we were more concerned with public spaces/activities than cabin. The cabin was amazingly functional and held all of our luggage (for the cruise and the 5 nights at Disney which followed!). We like the "test tube" shower with adjustable shower head -- it probably would be tight for a large person though. There are many small storage spaces in the bath vanity and cabin vanity/desk areas. A little extra space would have been nice, but we got what we paid for!
Fitness & Recreation: Fitness center was nice and had a good selection of equipment. Peak hours seemed to be 7 - 9 AM.
Shore Excursions: In Belize, my wife and son (7) took the city & animal sanctuary tour and were underwhelmed with the sanctuary; this was the only ship-sponsored excursion we did the entire trip (and the basis of my rating). On our own my daughter (10) & I did X-Stream cave tubing and had a very good time (I would recommend this highly for teens). At Costa Maya we booked a tour to the Chaccobben ruins at the pier ($45 pp, kids 2-for-1) and enjoyed it. In Cozumel, we cabbed over to Paradise Beach and had a great day with good food and drinks and reasonable prices. In Grand Cayman, we did 1/2 day Captain Marvin's stingray tour and had good fun (and they give free small rum cakes to you at the end).
Children's Program: Kids wanted to go to the program almost every morning/afternoon. Organized activities were a hit with both kids, and they earn points that are redeemed for prizes at the end of the cruise. Less
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