I've read a couple member reviews here and on another site where people complained of crowding, rude crew staff, and dirty areas. I hardly saw any examples of that. In fact, I was surprised to hear that something like 3200 guests were aboard. This huge vessel accommodated us quite well. I always felt like I had plenty of room. Then again, I didn't take an elevator the whole time and my wife took it maybe twice in 9.5 days. Our attendants/waiters were nice throughout the trip. If I were to quibble I could say the people in the spa were a little pushy at times.
Boarding was ridiculously easy. Getting there early probably helped. We were aboard in maybe 1/2 hour. We enjoyed our on-board activities. Shuffleboard, rock wall, miniature golf, fitness center, captain's peek-a-boo deck, swimming and lounging kept us busy on sea days. It can sometimes be difficult to find a deck chair on a sunny day but they do an excellent job of putting 1 in every conceivable spot. They do charge More
$10 for each beach towel (refundable upon delivery). Another reviewer made a good point in that someone is less likely to throw that towel on a chair and claim it for the day if it costs them $10. There are "warm" tubs and then there is the hot tub on the Solarium. To each his own.
We thought the food was good. Breakfast/lunch at the Windjammer Cafe, dinner in the Columbus room. Not a bad meal the entire time. And Portofinos is terrific. You'll pay for it but that's fine dining. The entertainment seemed a little thin. Mostly singing and dancing with the occasional comedian. To be fair we only saw a couple shows but thought they could really use to add a drama into the mix. Honestly, Cruise Director Mike and newly promoted Activities Director Pat did a Q and A session on the last day that was as entertaining to me as any of the shows. Our stateroom was an exterior room with a balcony on the 9th floor. Roomy enough. Hopefully you don't spend a lot of time there.
Lastly, as another cruiser mentioned a crew member jumped overboard as we started our journey back to New Jersey after leaving San Juan. Despite all odds against, the captain turned us around and made what seemed like every effort to locate this person in the water. And as far as I can tell the captain dealt straight with all of us too; keeping us informed. They also reimbursed people for penalties incurred for having to make late changes in travel plans (since we were now getting in late) and allowed us to make a free call from a land line to make arrangements. My wife and I had to make a couple phone calls but for us, in a twisted way, gave us another 1/2 day at sea on vacation. With all that we figured there would be chaos during disembarkation but for us, it was smooth. Less
Explorer of the Seas Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean
Close to the elevator but you really can't tell. It wasn't noisy or anything. I noticed some rooms had small flat screen TVs. Our didn't. Was an older analog set. Not perfect but we didn't take this cruise for the TV. Plenty of storage space squeezed into 173 sq. ft. Am always amazed at how efficiently they use this space.
Bermuda - We were there doing the Railway Bike and Trek excursion. This was 5/1/2010; the same day a huge benefit run/walk was taking place on the same (former) railway. It was neat seeing all those people nearing the finish line while on tour. And the tour was very informative.
Did the Loterie Tree Farm excursion where you shuffle between riding zip lines and walking tightropes (while holding handrails and being safely harnessed) across treetops. An excellent workout. And thanks to the worker who helped stop me from going a little too fast on 1 of those zip lines.
Very pretty. Took a tram to the top where there was an excellent view of the island, our ship, and a Carnival ship docked alongside us. Rode over to the beautiful Megan's Bay beach with its pristine waters.