Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Tabes71: Spring in the sun
Overall Member Rating
Spring in the sun
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
Embarkation was easier than Carnival. There were more lines for scanning at Port Liberty than in New York. We had a suite so were directed to a shorter line. Very nice experience. We were allowed to go right to our room, but our luggage didn't follow for four more hours. The bed was a double; I had to ask two times to have it separated and it was (finally) while we were at dinner; the walk in closet had a shelving unit which was nice plus there were four cabinets and a shelf unit in the room. The balcony fit a lounge chair, two regular chairs and a table and was nice because the floor wasn't wooden so we could sit in bare feet without the splinters we suffered on the other ship we have taken.
Our stateroom attendant was really good; extra ice was always there for us.
We enjoyed the food more than Carnival's offerings; I found the menu rather limited, though. The breakfast buffet was adequate. The dit down breakfast was better. The sit down lunch was good, the lunch More buffet was hands-down excellent for variety; stay away from the hamburgers (dry and flavorless) and the hot dogs (salty) though. There's a nice oriental section. The dinners were (as I said) limited in choice, but most were fine. I ordered a chorizo and pasta dish one night and was disappointed that the chorizo was actually Italian sausage (salty, no paprika, no spice). We both had lobster and shrimp on lobster night. The shrimp were excellently done; the lobster tail wasn't a real lobster - it was rock lobster, overcooked and tasteless. The Italian specialty restaurant, Portofino, was definately worth the 20$ cover charge. They had a decent wine selection in both dining rooms; I ordered a bottle of Merlot at Portofino and it took 20 minutes to get to the table because they had to check various areas since it wasn't in stock. They then brought it and served it to my companion even though I ordered it - I just thought that odd.
The deck with the pools was excellent; crowded, but with enough seating if you looked hard enough. The pools were big enough to swim in and there were at least 4 whirlpools.
Onboard shows were less than adequate. The comedian's routine had a good deal of bathroom "humor" and while the singers were good, the dancers needed help. The theater had a decent selection of movies. There was an ice show; we didn't partake but it was a nice offering onboard.
We went to one of the art auctions. It was a nice way to kill time and listen to a patent medicine show. We left after a while as we were getting upset that they were taking money for prints.
The fitness center was a waste. I only do elliptical, and they never seemed to be on when I was there and the person at the desk was singularly unhelpful. Better to go for a good walk in the morning. I did that with less annoyance.
The promenade was nice. We had a nice time waling it and poking around in the shops each night on our way to have our cocktail hour at the Schooner Bar. It's very interesting to talk to the bartenders when they are free... we learned a lot about Peru and Jamaica which livend things up for us since there was no entertainment when we went there (6-7 p)
Getting off of the ship was an unmitigated disaster. We chose the ironically named express departure and learned firsthand Royal Caribbean's inability to organize a mass of people. After half an hour of waiting, we were herded into the dining room (which, by the way, had place settings on the tables covered by a table cloth - that should violate some health code somewhere) and given stickers (how kindergarten). They then called people by number to go to the gangway on deck 1. The dining rooms being used are on decks 4 & 5... and we had to wait for elevators because RCI didn't have them designated as dedicated elevators so other people who weren't using the "express" departure service were still able to use them. When we finally got to the busses, we were told to put our luggage on the seat and we were to stand. The bus ride was so short we could have walked. Less
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Cabin review: js1340
Cabin 1340 is excellent for location. It's on deck 10 and only a short walk to the stairs to the pool, Windjammer Cafe (breakfast & lunch buffets) and the aft elevators. I only heard noise in the hallway when kids were running and yelling. The walk in closet was a great touch and it had its own shelving unit; there was more than adequate space in the room. The couches and chairs were hard, but the beds were nice and soft. The balcony was very private, and if you drop something, it doesn't roll off since there's a foot and a half metal part. It's topped by a glass section which leans out from the boat so you can really look out as you stand there.
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