Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Tika: Solar Explorers
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
First and foremost living in NJ and only 1 hour from Cape Liberty is a super plus just wish more cruise lines were available in this port. The terminal was very crowded but the boarding process went smoothly and we were on board and off to the Windjammer for lunch in no time. After lunch we went to our stateroom OS 1592,Deck 10, met Rika, our wonderful cabin attendant who kept our stateroom spotless and always there for us if we needed anything. RCCL should be proud of her commitment to service etc. Went to muster drill out on deck and then off to Schooners Bar to meet all the Cruise Critic folks..........fun to finally meet and say hello etc. to our cyber friends before the scheduled M&M the next day in the Chamber. Seas were very rough the first 24 hours but we managed being mid ship and with our sea bands and were comfortable not missing cocktails or a meal. We had a table for two in the Magellan Dining Room, second seating.......Our waiters Caesar and Victor were very More
attentive, conscientious and accommodating. Food was OK, plentiful but really nothing to rave about considering the Chefs & kitchens are cooking for 3000+ pax. I will comment here on our table location which was a bit disappointing as it was right next to a service station and not exactly appealing trying to "dine" while the staff is clearing plates etc. Having the suite perk I would have thought there would have been a better location for such a table for two. Since I am sort of commenting on food here Windjammer was good for breakfast & lunch with many choices but did get noisy and crowded at peak times. We could bring out plates into Portofino for breakfast and lunch if we chose to get away from the crowds.We ordered room service for breakfast several times. Always arrived in a timely manner. We had dinner one night in Portfino, well worth the extra charge for a one time dinner but we canceled our second dinner reservation and chose to eat in the main dining room which was Italian night. Fun to hear the wait staff sing with all their accents. Formal nights were quite dressy with many men in Tuxedos and ladies dressed to the nines. Jackets and ties for many men and women in dressy pants sets also. There was the mix of very dressy to nice party attire all formal nights. There were a lot of Seniors on board. Many scooter things and wheelchairs but everyone seemed to get around just fine. Very few children, mostly toddlers and a very few teenagers.
We took only one RCCL excursion and that was the Ferry to St. John from St. Thomas.......a good choice, great scenic ride and tour of ST. John. All the other excursions or beaches we just walked off the ship, found a cab or shared a minivan for a tour. The islands are all beautiful, the people all friendly and drivers were all very knowledgeable. In St. Maartem we took a cab to Orient Beach......driver dropped us off at a beach bar that had umbrellas, lounges,a bar and food........great fun time and the sights unbelievable....if you know about St. Maatin "optional" bathing attire. Dominica was beautiful. We shared a van with three couples and the driver took us on a scenic drive to the Rainforest and we stopped at some great photo spots. The port of Roseau is very colorfull with many locals with their tents filled with the usual trinkets etc. Weather sun and liquid sunshine temps very comfortable. Barbados, Sunday, all shops in town closed so we took a cab/van for a short ride to Boatyard, fun, food and great beach. Antigua shared a van again and went on a tour of the island and to Nelson's Dockyard & the Blockhouse ruins. The views were breathtaking. Puerto Rico ...we just took a short walk to Senior Frogs to get a shirt for one of our sons and headed back to the ship......been there toooo many times..........enjoyed the pool for the rest of the day. There are many, many excursions to choose from but pick up the Explorations booklet at the Explorations desk or Customer service area when you board and reserve asap.
Also if you want to go on the Galley Tour or Bridge tour be sure to make arrangements right away!!!!!!!!!!!! Ice show ..book your time right away.......great......a must see..............plus the Production shows are all fun........we saw most every show our first time on the EOS so nothing changes for several years. We enjoyed the Karaoke Superstar Championship.....amazing talent on board and the Marriage show thing was hysterical. The Royal Promenade is awesome and the parades were fun especially with the CD and staff entertaining. Pool side was fun too with the contests and line dancing etc. We had great weather in the Caribbean and the ride home was much smoother than our ride out of Cape Liberty. The ship is beautiful, Capt. Ryan is charming and approachable eager to greet people etc.
This was a great itinerary for January and a much needed escape from what we thought was winter............yikes..........we get home Friday 2/5 and end up with two major snow storms.......now have about a foot of fresh snow and it is still falling. Would we cruise the EOS again.....yes in a heart beat...........but will be a bit more savvy in what we pick/plan as far as all the many choices offered for excursions etc. I just wish more ships were based here in this area during the winter months. Less
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