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Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by aruvqan

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Explorer of the Seas
Explorer of the Seas
Member Name: aruvqan
Cruise Date: February 2010
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Cabin Category: e2
Cabin Number: 6300
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Explorer of the Seas Cruise Reviews | Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Royal Caribbean Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5+ out of 5+
Dining 5+
Public Rooms 5+
Cabins 5+
Entertainment 5+
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 4.0
Embarkation 5+
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 5+
Rates 5+
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Ship Facts: Explorer of the Seas Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Explorer of the Seas Deck Plans
Amazing First Cruise
I am no longer able to go camping, which was our previous annual family vacation due to arthritis issues that have me on crutches and in a wheelchair on bad days. Staying at home being bored is not an option. I had a co-worker that cruised every year and she suggested I might like it. I researched with certain requirements - the ship obviously had to have accessible staterooms, and be home ported in a city within easy driving distance as air travel in a wheelchair is a whole dog and pony show that makes travel difficult. Using Cruise Critics members information on different lines made the selection of Royal Caribbean easy.

The consultant with RCI was excellent, and the reservation was made. I was worried about there not being a cabin available on such short notice [October for a Feb sailing] but I got 6300, a very comfortable stateroom with a balcony. I loved the bed, but the small sofa was not proportioned comfortably for me [but I didn't go on the cruise to sit on a sofa!] and the stateroom attendant team [two very nice gentlemen] kept the place spotless and the ice bucket full.

Cabin 6300 is fully wheelchair accessible. The door to the passageway is a bit stiff, and we cheated in holding it open by using the small doorstop that our stateroom attendants used to hold the door open while manuvering the chair inside. The bathroom was laid out neatly, and the shower was very comfortable. It has the area of the shower delineated with strips of deck drains, that handled the water draining efficiently except for one time in heavy seas on the way back when the ship was rolling around and the water sloshed a bit. The bed was very firm, and comfortable - we had it set up in queen configuration, though it can be separated into twins. There was additionally a small sofa, that I was not fond of so I rarely sat in it. The cabin was a bit wider than normal for that class to make it chair accessible, and the balcony was the full width of the cabin, with a small ramp to make it easier to move onto the balcony. The safe was in the desk area, raised to be convenient at chair height, and there was a second peep hole in the door at chair height, and a second strip of robe hooks on the bathroom door, at chair height. There was a good solid fold down seat in the shower, and the shower had both a waterfall and a hand held shower, with the water temperature adjust being separate from the flow adjust. There is adequate space by the door to store a folding wheelchair, and if you have a scooter you can have the stateroom attendant remove the little glass and chrome occasional table and park it there and plug it in for charging.

A caveat, you do have to occasionally play dodge the laundry cart during the day as the passageways are a bit narrow, and on the last evening dodge the luggage as people place their luggage out for pickup...and if the seas are heavy moving around on crutches or a walker can be a bit tricky.

The food in the main dining room was phenomenal. Unfortunately I gained back all the weight I just lost ... The food in the buffet was better at breakfast than at lunch, but the lunches in the main dining room were excellent - they have a salad station that is excellent. Our waiter team for dinner was well trained, and I hope to get them again next cruise.

I did not have trouble getting around the ship, although at peak traffic times [right before or after dinner, and a couple of the special events] getting elevator space was tricky as a wheel chair does take up more room that a walking person. I do sort of wish that they had a single elevator tucked away somewhere that was keycard operated just for the handicapped, but with space onboard at a premium I can understand why they do not.

I did decide that cruising was definitely the way to go in the future! I didn't actually go on any port excursions, I got lazy and spent the port calls lounging on the balcony and people/boat watching ... though my husband wandered around the 4 ports we stopped at, scoping them out for the future. There was only one port that I will not be able to enjoy in the future as it required using a tender [small boat] to go between ship and shore, and I simply can't really safely get aboard - but there is so much to do on the Explorer that I would not be deprived of fun.

Publication Date: 02/17/10
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