Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Richard47: Bigger is not Better
Overall Member Rating
Bigger is not Better
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
A deeply flawed ship design.
I have just returned from our Caribbean Christmas cruise.
Everything about the cruise was great except the ship. This was our fifth cruise so we are not new at this. We have sailed on the Emerald Princess, The Radiance and Rhapsody of the Seas and the Celebrity Mercury. None of these ships had vibration problems.
Our first hint of the problem was when the engines started up in the harbor in NJ.
We were in our veranda cabin #7342 sitting on the bed when we felt the vibration start.
I had an open plastic bag on the on the bed and it began to flutter like it was in a mild breeze. The vibration continued to increase as we made our way out to sea.
As the ship increased in speed the vibration continued to get worse.
Eventually my wife and I ended up on the 14th deck in a lounge.
Here the vibration was similar to turbulence on an airplane. At one point my glass of wine erupted from the center More like a fountain. By morning both of us had a headache from the vibrations and the rock hard bed. By the time we reached our first destination our nerves were frayed to say the least. This vibration was felt all the time that the motors were running and the severity of it was tied to ship speed.
A design flaw perhaps or a faulty bearing, still a very unnerving experience.
The ship had a Casino of course and it had a smoke anywhere policy.
This Casino was located in the center of the ship directly underneath the Royal Promenade which is a 600 ft long enclosed avenue/strip mall. The Casino had a spiral staircase leading up to the center of the mall. Smoke from the Casino was transferred to the surrounding lounges by wind draft when the walk around deck doors opened.
The Mall deck became permeated with cigarette smoke after the third day. There were plenty of other places to smoke but who wants to subject themselves to the outdoors when they can just go to the casino. This is an organizational problem that disregards
modern medical evidence about second hand smoke.
The ship also has a wine cellar but no wine steward in the dining room. The various bars and lounges are responsible for restocking their areas by filling out a handwritten sheet that is passed from area to area. The bars have no access to a computer database of what is in ships stores so they can't tell the patrons if it is even on board.
The dining room wine menu has a couple of hundred selections and without a wine steward to keep the listed stock available it was a truly anemic performance.
All the crew was as polite and as helpful as any crew we have ever met but
Their performance was severely hindered by the basic ships organization. Less
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