Cruisin' for a bruisin': Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by DelawareViking
Overall Member Rating
Cruisin' for a bruisin'
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
Once on board we found the cabin to be satisfactory but nothing special. The service in both the cabin and the dining room, however, was first-rate. The food was fair--better than Carnival but certainly not up to the level of Holland America. Windjammer lunches were average. I missed the opportunity to have sushi each lunch as I had on Holland America. It was only available the last day. The rolls and bread at all meals, however, were superb.
One of the great problems was a dearth of bathrooms in public areas, or in some cases inadequate signs pointing to their location. To find one in a hurry sometimes was exciting. :( Occasionally it required going down a deck or two. On some occasions it was necessary to rush back to the cabin. In addition, even when a bathroom was in the area maintenance was being done on it.
The solarium could not be completely enclosed, and so it was useless for the first day or two out and the last day or two back for a NE winter cruise. Holland America had a sliding glass cover for the area that made it usable the whole cruise.
The entertainment was decent. I heard that the ice show was great, but they didn't have enough shows, and many (including us) were not able to see it because of this. The music on board was excellent.
Many in our group (including me) were really ticked off at the $12 corking fee for wine purchased from RCCL by the travel agent and delivered to our rooms. That was outrageous. We ended up carrying it off the ship. The wine service was poor. The selection of wines by the glass was not good, and what was there was overpriced, especially considering the quality. I often had to ask for a wine menu to be delivered to the table. RCCL also pushed their drinks way too much.
The Internet access was woeful. The charge of $.55/minute for slow speed was outrageous. I refused to pay that kind of money for what would have had to be a minimum of 1/2 connection to read and/or send a few emails. Wifi was not available in our cabin, either. We would have had to go to the library, although this was readily accessible.
The excursions were good and varied. They were not a source of trouble.
Debarkation was handled well--way better than boarding. We had no problems with our luggage, but we had concerns whether we would have trouble because our bags had been left sitting outside for hours after getting off the bus, and they were still there when we finally got into the security area.
The sound system in the entertainment/showtime area was too loud. In fact, it exceeded the capacity of the speakers so that the words were not clear. Much of the time it was impossible to understand the words of the songs. It was all muddled.
All in all the on-board experience was fair, but there were too many major problems with the cruise as a whole to consider traveling RCCL again. I never say never, but it's one notch above that. Less
Adequate drawers because of efficient use of space. Didn't see pull-down bars for lower level for clothes until the end of the cruise, but had adequate closet space anyway. Missed having lotions, etc. the way Holland America did. Beds could not easily be made into a double bed because of the lighting situation. More flexibility needed there. Faucet in bathroom was frustrating because of low water flow. The shower was fine, though. Room under the bed to store luggage was adequate.
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