My husband and I, both 50 yrs. old, went on the Explorer to Bermuda for our 25th anniversary. This was our first and we were very excited, but as I read the reviews I was getting more and more nervous that we wouldn't enjoy it. Well - I have only one piece of advice - IGNORE THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS. We had a great cruise. Even though we boarded and left late, the cruise started great - very cold - but great. Boarding was done quickly, we had a balcony room and was very happy with the size and location,and yes, there is plenty of storage. We went to the Windjammer for a quick dinner, went to the top to watch the ship squeeze under the Verazanno and then went to explore the ship. The ship is very clean and it is not "dated". It's really beautiful.
Spent the next day exploring the ship and relaxing. First night was the Formal Dinner. Please - dress up for this one night. Again, after reading so many negative reviews, I didn't know what to expect from the dinner. The dinner was great. The appetizers are not large, but we ordered a few so we could share a bit of everything and try things I wouldn't usually order - like escargot - which was delicious. Every night, the food was great. And yes, there is lobster. The last night we had lobster and shrimp and it was delicious.
We only saw a couple of shows, that's not really our thing. But we had a great time in the casino, going to have a few drinks and enjoying the night. As for drinks, they are the same price as any restaurant or club, BUT they are so strong, that we actually drank less than normal. Our overall charges at the end of the cruise was much less than I expected. We were not nickeled and dimed. I don't know how other cruises work, so I have nothing to compare it to, but we got more than our money's worth on this cruise.
We spent the next day and 1/2 in Bermuda. Bermuda is beautiful. In that amount of time we saw the entire island. From Ft. Catherine to the Naval Yard. Horseshoe Bay is incredible. We went to the Crystal Caves (small but interesting - tho I don't know if it's worth $20 each). Had a great dinner in Hamilton in a restaurant onnected to the Bermuda Expedition Center. Beautiful outdoor (and indoor) dining. I think more locals go there than tourists. The Naval Yard is very touristy but I enjoyed it. The Glassworks Shop is beautiful and the Rum Cakes are very good.
That day at 4:30 we left Bermuda to head back to NJ. More time on the ship exploring, eating, drinking, doing whatever. Went to some shows. The Ice Show and the Final Performance. Both were very good. The ship was very, very rocky on the way back - but the best advice I got was to buy Bromine. I took it every morning and never felt seasick.
The Explorer of the Seas is a beautiful ship, the crew is great and can't do enough for you. Go, enjoy your trip, and I unless you're searching for negatives, you will have a great time.