Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by mtmnj221: New England cruise is just CLASSIC America! Perfect in JULY!
Overall Member Rating
New England cruise is just CLASSIC America! Perfect in JULY!
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
Let me just preface this review by saying, the Canada/New England cruise was by far the perfect summer cruise. Anytime we can escape the hot humid south is a blessing. For 10 days we enjoyed gorgeous, sometimes a bit chilly weather. Completely opposite of NC weather. If you're considering this cruise, definitely plan it for the summer.
Embarkation: Cape Liberty, Bayonne, New Jersey
We decided to drive to New Jersey from NC, in one day. We left about 4am and took maybe 2 breaks. So needless to say, we were stressed getting there. Won't do that again, I will in the future drive to Baltimore, stay over and then finish the drive the next day. Jersey turnpike is a real 'experience' for a southern driver. Got to port fine, but just in time. Nobody was really waiting in line by 3:30pm so we breezed right through.
Champagne and Strawberries awaited us in our room. And we ordered a smoked salmon sandwich from room service becaused we were starved. It was awesome. The More balcony room we had was enough for the two of us, I couldn't imagine any more people in it. Loved having a balcony....can never cruise again without one.
The usual departure stuff went well, then we napped until dinner. We had a late seating for dinner. They did a great job of seating us with two other couples who were celebrating their anniversary. So all in all, a great dining table.
The food was fine. I kept in mind that they had to serve a certain way because they're serving so many in so little time. So the soups are basically puree's, I'd avoid pasta anything. I always stayed with the most luxurious option and was pleased every time. Deserts again were good some nights, a little more 'fluff' other nights. We did mostly dining room options as I'm not a fan of the cafeteria experience on a cruise.
Loved the coffee shop, always had a great selection of snacks, cookies, sandwiches. A nice break since our dinner was so late.
We didn't do much entertainment, we basically rested as much as we could. I did bingo a couple of times, my husband did the wine tasting. We weren't uptight about constantly being busy, our goal was to not have a schedule. It was too chilly for me to want to swim.
Did a spa massage, it was nice, but I hate the up sell they always do.
Ports: Here's a quick and easy reference for the ports. Research the american ones like Bar Harbor, Portland, etc. then rent a car and bring your GPS. We found some great places to eat and tour on our own schedule. The only tours I booked were for the canadian ones and I did one for Boston because I'd never been there and didn't want to navigate a car in a city like that.
My other goal was to have lobster every day. Not a difficult thing to do in New England. In Bar Harbor, we found an incredible lobster shack by the bridge and pigged out on whole lobster, steamed mussels and steamed clams. I can still taste them today! Every port was historical and relaxing. I'm not a beach bum, so I didn't miss not being on a carribbean vacation. The New England cruise was just my speed. Less
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Cabin review: D3 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
Balcony Cabin on the Explorer. Incredible experience, our own getaway on the water. Beware of people though who use their balcony as a smoking room. Our next door neighbor almost always came out and we had to go back in to keep from choking.Read All Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (D3) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Loved Bar Harbour, rented a car, toured everything on our own time, drove the whole island. At at a lobster shack right by the water away from the touristy area. Renting a car in the american ports was easy, most times they had the car waiting for you or picked you up from the dock. FANTASTIC
Would have loved 2 days in Boston. Ate at Union Oyster House. Pretty good, more of a tourist attraction. Tried to see everything I could from a historical standpoint. Did book a tour and it was worth it all the way. Then went around on our own. Gorgeous city.
Charming city, booked the tour to Peggy's cove, that was beautiful, but a long drive to and from the destination. And a tour of the city. Went to the maritime museum, grabbed a fantastic lunch at a restaurant across the street from it. Lobster roll of course. Great stop.
We drove over to Kennebunkport, Maine and saw the Bush compound and basically toured that town ourself. Took a carriage tour, ate lobster rolls for lunch. A charming visit all the way around. Got back to Portland in time to walk around there some as well.
Not what we expected for the ...
Montreal or Bust on the Veenda...
Nice Trip to Canada/New Englan...
Veendam just doesn't deliver
HAD A GREAT TIME!
Veteran cruiser disappointed i...
Lots of Fun!
Overall a Great Experience