Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by sandian: RCI put the Wow in our holiday cruise
Overall Member Rating
RCI put the Wow in our holiday cruise
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
Background Myself 58 Husband 59 and Daughter 31 flew from London Heathrow and stayed at the Newark Airport Renaissance Hotel on the 6Th of March. This was our second Cruise but first with RCI. The Hotel was excellent,the weather was very kind no rain or snow and quite warm.
At 12 midday we boarded the bus to take us to the Ship, this took about 40 minutes. There was some delay at the port and it was 2.30 before we were actually on board.
The ship itself is magnificent, and after having a snack at the Promenade Cafe we had a wander round taking some snaps as we went. We then went up to our Stateroom. Our luggage had still not arrived but we did not worry, we were intent on admiring the view from our Balcony, we looked straight across at the Statue of Liberty.
Muster drill was next and when this was over we went back down and managed to get our unpacking done. There was plenty of storage and even towards the end of the cruise we were still finding more More hidey holes. We met our Stateroom Attendant and found him helpful and very friendly. Our towel animals every night kept us all amused.
This cruise the ship was sailing full but to be honest you were never really aware of it being packed, maybe the only time you saw crowds would be going in to the Ice Show and the Windjammer.
The Dining Room was beautiful on three levels we were happy where we were placed for dining so had no reason to change. We sat with a family of three from England. Mary the Grandmother had Cruised once before as well.
We alternated between the Windjammer and Dining Room for our evening meal,and did not feel the need to use any of the specialist restaurants as the food was very good in both venues. There was only one item in the dining room I could not eat over the length of the holiday.
The Cafe Promenade served us well for morning coffees and also light snacks at lunchtime. The food in here was also wonderful, lovely little savoury pastries and fantastic cakes.
The ship has many activities to keep you amused all day long and into the night, from Jewelery making to Arts and Crafts. Karaoke to Shows, Ice Skating to Rock Climbing.
The Ice Skating Shows are a must as are some of the Shows in the Theatre, we saw a fantastic Violinist who happened to be from Staffordshire in England.
Each and every staff member went above and beyond to make this Cruise one we will remember for a very long time.
Everybody on board were there to have a good time and I never heard one complaint a nicer group of people you could not hope to meet. Less
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Cabin review: E17592 Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
Great Balcony, Large comfortable bed, plenty storage. in an ideal location.Read All Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (E1) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
The Dockyard was lovely and well worth the visit. Included in the price was another Rum Cocktail the strongest yet. The only disappointment was we only had 40 minutes here and we could have had a lot longer as there is so much to see. We also paid a visit to Shirley Heights a Scenic overlook which was another delight, After this our driver took us to a beach for a swim. Another stunning beach Turners beach where we had a lunch at the beach bar and a swim before heading back to the ship
Our driver also gave us a song as we found out he used to be in a band.
Levi met us straight of the ship and was wonderful, the price of 40 dollars each included swim belts for swimming through the Gorge Beer Water and soft drinks.
The vehicles used are new air conditioned and seat about 10 there was only seven in our group. We arrived at the gorge and donned our swim belts Levi explained the water was very cold, we would be paddling for most of the way and there is only one area where you cannot stand as it is about 10 feet deep. Its only a few hundred yards but Levi watches you all the time and if anybody is struggling he is there to lend a hand.
There are two ledges that you can climb up and then jump of, one very high then the other not so high.
You will need proper waterproof sandals for this as it is rocky underfoot, also a good waterproof camera as there is no way you can take a photo otherwise.
We then went to Trafalgar Falls where there is a viewpoint for taking photos, then if you want Levi will take you on a walk down to the sulphur Pools. This is quite hard going if you are not fit and also rocky in places, but the water is lovely to soak in. Levi explained that you could only stay in the water for a short time and he made sure we did not exceed that time.
From there we headed back down to The Botanical Gardens for a drive through and then on to a scenic overlook to take pictures of the Explorer.
Champagne falls for snorkeling was next but we were ready to head back to the ship. We spoke to the girls who done the snorkelling and they said they enjoyed it.
Levi was very good at stopping for different plants from the roadside and letting us know what they were all in all a very good trip and would certainly recommend.
The shops do not open till ten but there is plenty of opportunity to wander and take pictures of all the lovely ice cream colour buildings.
Its steep and the streets are all cobblestones but its a delight to wander round.
We took a tour round San Cristobel Fort about 4 dollars or cheaper if you visit the 2 forts, you had lovely views of the town and the sea from here.
From there we stopped of at a gift shop on Fortalezza Street that had a coffee shop attached bought some souvenirs and a Puerto Rican coffee and cake very nice.
We finished our visit by visiting Don Q opposite the Cruise Terminal for a free Rum tasting. Another great day in paradise.
At Great Bay we walked to the left when exiting the boat and walked along the boardwalk. You will be offered many packages for sunbeds umbrellas and beers.We eventually settled for 3 beds beers and umbrellas for 15 dollars a bargain. The beach is long and narrow and the sand is quite course but the water was lovely.
After sunning ourselves for a while we decided to have something to eat, again plenty of choice and we ended up with cheeseburgers chips and salad for 21 dollars for three of us again a bargain.
Later on we walked into town just a stroll really as the town consists of one Main Street at the back of the boardwalk. Plenty of shops but we wanted to visit the Guavaberry Emporium which was not hard to find.
A lovely place to visit.
After a spot of retail therapy we had a drink at Cafe Amici in one of the little lanes leading from the main street. Although a lovely spot to sit and people watch the drinks were a tad expensive I thought. Although I did not price them elsewhere.
Then on leaving we walked up to Blackbeard's Castle, the road up is quite steep but it is well worth a visit as the views are stunning from the top of the tower. You have different houses to visit for a set price, you can do the self guided tour or have a guide to show you around. We visited the Amber Museum and also the Rum Distillery & Museum where they do free tastings. Included in the price if you want is a lovely swimming pool ideal if you are hot and sticky. The gardens are also beautiful Unfortunately I cannot quite remember the price of this.
On leaving we decided to walk back to the ship. One tip you do not have to book tours of the islands before leaving home as there are many guides at the ports that can give you a tour at better prices than the cruise lines. Just make sure to do your homework in advance and know what you want and prices. Normally around 25 dollars
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