On Feb. 1st, my husband & I sailed out of Bayonne, NJ on Explorer of the Sea. This was our 29th cruise, only our second on Royal Caribbean. Our first experience with Royal Caribbean was in 2002, Grandeur of the Sea, and without a double, it was one of our WORST cruises. Everything on Grandeur was bad: food, service, coffee, crowds, entertainment, etc., etc. This year, because Explorer of the Sea was the only ship sailing to the Caribbean from the NYC area, we reluctantly decided to give it a try. WHAT A PLEASANT SURPRISE!!! We thoroughly enjoyed the ship and everything about it.
There was a problem with one of the propellers so the ship didn't go to our first scheduled port of call which was Puerto Rico. It didn't make any difference of us; in fact we were happy for the $75. credit we each received.
We were delighted with the ship loved the Promenade; we enjoyed all the nightly entertainment; the food and service was much better than we expected, no long lines in the Wind Jammer and Explorer had many more chairs and lounge chairs in the pool area compared to our first adventure with Royal Caribbean. A little bit of a disappointment was the casino staff; they were NOT friendly, particularly the black jack dealers. Usually on cruise ships, the black jack dealers are a lot of fun this group were NOT. About the only other complaint was the pool band. They were dull, no steel drums, no playing of "Red, Red Wine or Yellow Bird", but I must admit that the cruise we went on last year (Holland America's Noordam) didn't even have ANY music at the pool so something was better than nothing.
Explorer of the Sea was a fun cruise. Going away in February is always a treat. It's so good to get out of the cold weather into the sunny caribbean. We were very happy with Explorer of the Sea. It was a happy ship!