This is our second cruise with royal A much bigger ship this time explorer of the seas We had 4 night's pre cruise visiting Niagara Falls and Lake Erie to see family then onto Newark for our one night pre cruise. Embarkation was a breeze ....we arrived at port at approx 10-30 am and was on board for about 11-45.....arriving on deck and having our first cocktail soon after...... We strolled to the windjammer for lunch ...a bit hectic but like everyone else trying to get a table for lunch......all went ok ......food pleasant enough Had another stroll around the ship as we are travelling with our 2 friends who had never cruised before so it was all new to them.......
Our first time on explorer and was amazed ourselves at how big she is.....
Cabins were blocked off till after 2pm....
So more strolling until cabins were available......we had a promenade on 8th deck.....smaller than a balcony .....but we booked this to give it a try....after spending 12nights in this type of cabin we decided by our choice that we would only ever have balcony cabin again.....only because I missed the fresh air in the mornings and sometimes felt a little enclosed...otherwise everyone to there own budget and choice. - I did however like the bay window to peep down onto the promenade that was good.
Our friends had a balcony on 7th on the hump and they loved every minute of it....and when we visited them I could see the difference.....it's much brighter and fresher.
We dined in the Magdalene dining room on 3rd…..a table for 8. We shared the table with a family from Preston who also had been on cc and had chatted with them on the website ….we enjoyed there company and will be keeping in touch.
The food was very good. At times we were spoilt for choice and shared various items from the menu. We purchased a 12 bottle wine package which we enjoyed very much and thought it was very good value compared to the bottle of wines bought individually on the night….
We dined in Portofino's with our friends and it was so good and enjoyable we had to make another reservation and enjoyed a second visit - the food choice was fabulous and the service and ambiance was exquisite. That means we ate in the dining for the remaining 10 nights - I do have strong opinions about presentation and quality of food and felt that sometimes that a couple of nights the meal was rushed or that the standard of food was just below par…… this is only my opinion and on the whole the food was very enjoyable .
The ship was kept very clean and often saw the deck hands painting the ship and cleaning windows and decks.
Our cabin stewardess kept very discreet and we hardly ever saw her and was very good in keeping everything ship shape!!!
The bar staff were very attentive ….we used the aquarium bar mostly for pre dinner drinks and were very happy with those.
We saw a couple of theatre shows they were ok but would not rave about them…..we also saw two ice show productions which were excellent and highly recommended….
We met some lovely new friends from the cc meet n mingle and had a good meet up…we also had a good cabin crawl.
Disembarkation was very smooth and quick…no hassle and soon on our bus back to Newark airport
All in all a brill holiday…..nothing wrong with this choice and would do it all over again in a flash!!!!!