The Explorer of the Seas is a beautiful ship and boarding from Bayonne, NJ could not of been easier. Within 20 minutes of parking the car, we were directed to Windjammers to begin our cruise with lunch. From the moment you board, the staff showed why Royal Caribbean is the top cruise line. Smiles, assistance, and happiness was everywhere. At promptly 1:30 PM our cabin was available. There was plenty of room for two adults and four suitcases. The balcony was a wonderful treat although the banister could of used varnish. Our room steward, Antonio, was helpful and provided the extra towels needed.
The ship is quite large and has many activities to participate in. Rock climbing, swimming, ice skating, shows, spa, fitness, etc. We chose the early seating for dinner and each night we were treated as royalty by Harvey, our waiter. The dining room serves wonderful meals from pasta with sauce to veal and steak dinners. Not once was I disappointed with the food selection.
Portofino's is a must, at least one night. The food presentations were unbelievable. Skewers of seafood, steaks, and regional specialties made it difficult to chose only one. The restaurant gives you the feeling that there are only a few people on the cruise because of the spacing of reservations.
During the 10 days, I could not of asked for a more relaxing vacation even with Hurricane Earl following us along. The captain did change our itinerary by getting us to Portland a day early so that Hurricane Earl could travel up the coast without us. This provided us with beautiful days of sunshine without the rain. We visited Portland and Bar Harbor, ME, St. John, NB, Halifax, NS, and finally Boston, MA. Each port had activities for all, whether walking the piers or touring, it was such a beautiful time to visit.
The favorite tour was Peggy's Cove. It is breathtaking to see the area and learn of the history of such a small fishing town. Second favorite was Halifax and the Titanic history. It is amazing the history of this town.
I would highly recommend this ship and the itinerary to anyone looking for history and beauty without the sandy beaches.