UN-HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CRUISE: Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by ocean angel
Overall Member Rating
UN-HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CRUISE
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
By now everyone knows that we got a late start - we didn't gripe about that knowing the circumstances. Not too much was missed with the exception of lunch and some ship exploring time.
The ship is beautiful and the staff was very friendly. Our cabin steward was fabulous; friendly and kept our cabin in tip-top shape. The towel animals were great.
We enjoyed the shows and donated at the casino, enjoyed trivia and towel folding demonstrations.
Bermuda was beautiful. We were looking forward to our visit. It was nice to be at a port where we weren't stalked by people offering taxi rides, hair braiding, and drugs. The transportation system is good - the buses and ferries were on a great schedule and on-time. The More roads, though narrow and sometimes you felt like you were side-swiping trees, were enjoyable they way they curved and wove through the small town areas. One of the most enjoyable parts of the trip for us was the Glassworks factory - we were so enthralled with watching them.
Even the last sea day, Wednesday, with the rocking and rolling due to the highwinds, was actually pretty cool. Lucky for us, none of us got sick!!!
The food, something that is always subject, was good, not great with the exception of Portofino's which was fabulous. The issue we had with this cruise was the dining service. On our last Royal Caribbean cruise the service was impeccible; the servers knew what you wanted to drink after the first night and it was either waiting at the table for you or served as soon as you sat down. The service flowed from the time you were seated until dessert. On this cruise, the service was just horrible.
We had requested a table for 4 which we didn't get, but as it turned out our table mates were friendly and we did enjoy their company. The first night in the dining room (not embark day due to the delay) our waiter introduced himself and his assistant and told us that they worked as a team and if one was not there, the other would be - this was far from the truth. Four of those seated at our table were asked what they wanted to drink, the other four were left to fend for themselves (that would including us) - we had to request what we wanted when it was clear that we were not going to be asked - this was every night that we were in the MDR. This first night we were in the MDR for 2.5 hours - tables who were seated after our entire table was seated were being served their dinner while we were finally being served our appetizers. We were constantly looking for one or the other of the "team" to request things like a steak knife - they would serve the plate and walk away. We ran out of butter on more than one occasion, and once my husband was served something he didn't order, rather than what he did order.
The night we ate at Portofino's, our table mates engaged our waiter in friendly conversation and he proceed to tell them that he was married, with a wife and two children back in India, but when he was on the ship, he was "available." Hello?!?!?!?!?!?!
On the last night in the MDR, our steaks were not done as requested, we had to once again request drinks and steak knives and the servers fell out of the pattern of serving the women first.
Breakfast in the MDR two mornings wasn't bad, but on the one day that my DH and I ate in the MDR for lunch, it took almost an hour to get chicken tenders and an open face steak sandwich.
We are not the type of people who expect to be "served" - but usually the dining experience on a cruise ship is one of the highlights of the day and we were only expecting the same type of service that we have had in the past. Our TA had made arrangements for a special dessert to be served to my DH and I, and my DK and her DH to celebrate our anniversaries (it was to be a surprise for everyone but me) - that never happened! What a disappointment.
To conclude - with the exception of the terrible dining experiences, the rest of the cruise was enjoyable. Less
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