Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by madangus: NO SPARKLE !!!
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NO SPARKLE !!!
We are a well travelled bunch and holidays are so special, but we are relatively new to cruising. We had never been to New York and when we found that the Explorer of the Seas was sailing from here at the Easter holidays we didn't need much convincing to book. New york was fantastic we spent the weekend there we were amazed and squeezed in as much as we could. We stayed at the Hyatt regency jersey city - what a hotel right on the edge of the Hudson river, fantastic views of the statue of liberty and the Manhattan skyline. Rooms superb very clean, and the staff were the font of all knowledge. The hotel is in reality at 30 steps from the PATH train and 1 stop later you are in new york. The hotel was great as being in new jersey it was only 10 minutes by taxi to the cruise terminal. Only down side they don't do a kids menu which wasn't great, and the swimming pool is tiny so no lap swimming for anyone who is thinking about it. Anyways enough about New York its FAB.... Our tickets said to More
be at the terminal for 1pm, we got there about 12:15pm, the taxi took about 20 minutes getting into the dock yard, its a old navy terminal so nothing special to look at. On first seeing the ship , she looked impressive HUGE and alot bigger than our last cruise ship. We got out of the taxi and we went straight to a RCI employee who was taking your suitcases, all done very quickly and without any hassle, it was very busy and for anyone with small kids keep an eye out as there are small fork lift trucks going back and forth with the luggage. We joined a queue and quickly got inside a large marquee to check in, it is split into deck numbers and went very smoothly in all took about 20 minutes. Once this was done we didn't have to wait and were ushered onto a bus to take us about 200 meters to the ship - seemed silly but must be policy. We boarded and were told that Windjammers cafe was open and serving lunch but cabins wouldn't be ready till 1.30pm. We didn't have the WOW factor as we entered the ship as they have you board then take an elevator to deck 11 so you don't see the main atrium or the royal promenade, we found this strange as with a Disney cruise you enter the atrium when you board and straight way its WOW.
Cabin 8216 (deck 8) starboard side fwd. great location, quiet, because
its above the bow of the ship when in the caribbean you can see flying
fish. Cabin itself too small, dated and faded, needs a face lift, bed
very comfortable. ample closet space. The balcony rust everywhere, big
patches of paint that have peeled off the bulkhead, paint all over the
glass on the front of the balcony, tried and worn patio furniture.
WINDJAMMERS CAFE - is fantastic and caters for everyone, my son loves sushi and the JADE counter which is located at
the very back of the cafe is the place to go, it serves asian cuisine
and is A+. We went to our cabin after this and sorry to say were
disappointed the cabins are faded and very tired the ship is in dire
need of a refurb. Our balcony and I was really mad, wasn't worth paying
the extra money for, rust everywhere, big patches of paint peeled off
the bulkheads and big splodges of paint on the glass on the balcony, 2
really old chairs and it wasn't a table but a footstool as the patio
furniture, but we decided to let this go and get out and explore the
THE MAIN DINING ROOM - is split into 3 parts on 3 desks we had
deck 5 in the Columbus restaurant, we were sat with 2 other families so 9
of us in total on our table each with kids all brits and we all got on
really well, it was a good mix all with different backgrounds. the food
was mostly miss and not hit was was a let down. they do a kids menu but
you have to ask for it, I wont comment on our waiters as there are so
many staff all will be different. the menus do vary and I wont knock
them for that but the steaks well I like to have them cooked to my
liking, not to the liking of the mass.
WINDJAMMERS CAFE - as said A+.
PORTOFINO - great setting and atmosphere, food FAB, a really nice touch
if you want a adult only night. $20 cover charge is a bit steep but a
ROYAL PROMENADE - was a great experience with the shops
and the cafe promenade was FAB the cookies , hot chocolate , cakes and
sandwiches on demand are just the treat when you return from a day at
the beach. The shops onboard had some great offers if anyone likes
swarovski they have loads onboard and reasonable prices and some
bargains on little clutch bags. KIDS CLUB - from my 6 year old he loved
it, made loads of friends so many he couldn't remember their names. The
good thing was when in port if your kids didn't want to go they could
stay at the club, the only down side is when the club only runs for 3
hrs at a time 9am - 12noon, 2-5pm, 7-10pm. some days I felt I was clock
watching as I was conscious that I had to collect my son. The other
thing was teenagers everywhere sitting on the stairs and refusing to
move when you went buy, I can only assume the teen club didn't offer
them enough or they wouldn't be there. GYM - was great it had all the
cardio equipment that you will need along with weight machines and free
weights, it was absolutely chocka on the first few days but I found if
you went at 4pm it was empty. they supply the towels and there are
water fountains to fill up your drinks bottles, also changing rooms and
a hot tub to jump into after your workout. SPA - didn't use it but the
spa are on deck 11 is for adults only nice padded sun loungers but get
out about 9am if you want a lounger, there the first to go. there is a
pool and 2 hot tubs, a very nice spot on the ship and at 10:30am they
do aqua aerobics in the pool there.
MAIN POOL - again a great area but
busy, again get out early to bag a good lounger, 2 pools and 2 hot tubs
one for adults only.
ADVENTURE OCEAN FAMILY POOL - one pool(4ft), one
small kids pool with a small slide and a separate bigger slide - this
slide is not open all the time, port days only open for 2 hrs and sea
days open 11am - 3pm. kids loved it and if you get there early there
are sun loungers there also for adults and children.
INLINE SKATING -
great fun but we thought it would be open all the time only open 1 hr
in the morning and 1 hrs in the afternoon the same is for the rock
climbing wall and ice skating. the golf is open all the time and was
really good fun, along with basketball and table tennis. WE CANT FAULT
RCI FOR THE ONBOARD REC FACILITIES THEY ARE GREAT BUT SOME OF THEM
SHOULD BE OPEN LONGER. I have gone on too long already with this
review. on the short. We expected plusher and didn't get it. if the
cabin and the main restaurant had been up to standard then it would
have been one of the best cruises we would have had. The facilities on
board are impressive and if you have never cruises before the you will
love it. One last thing take your evening dress/tux people did dress us
on the formal nights which really created a wonderful atmosphere. Im
just sorry to say that we were spoilt on our last cruise and this one
didn't me our expectations it has lost its sparkle.
DID I MENTION THE TROLLEY DASH THE HALLWAYS ARE CONSTANTLY CLOGGED UP
WITH THE CLEANING CARTS SOME TIMES CABINS ARE NOT MADE UP TILL
DINNERTIME, AND YOU HAD TO NAVIGATE YOU WAS TO THE ELEVATORS TRYING NOT
TO WALK INTO ANY OF THE CLEANING CARTS. Less
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Cabin review: 8216
cabin 8216 (deck 8) starboard side fwd. great location, quiet, because its above the bow of the ship when in the caribbean you can see flying fish. Cabin itself too small, dated and faded, needs a face lift, bed very comfortable. ample closet space. The balcony rust everywhere, big patches of paint that have peeled off the bulkhead, paint all over the glass on the front of the balcony, tried and worn patio furniture.
Think twice, not NCL's best.
Had a blast on my first Disney...
Lovely Ship, but a Few Problem...
Generally very good but...
They couldn't get it right!