Sailed Explorer out of Cape Liberty for 5 night Bermuda cruise. Stayed overnight @ Country Inn & Suites in Elizabeth NJ and took a taxi-$50 including tolls to cruiseport in Bayonne. Got to port @ 11:00am and onboard by 11:30am. The rooms were open around 1:15pm. Windjammer was not so crowded that you couldn't find a table, the food was fresh and hot. Honey stung chicken was great! After lunch we went to our cabin, it was spacious, bright and had tons of storage space. We had a view of "beautiful Bayonne" from our balcony which had a lounger, 2 chairs and small table. The ship is over 10 years old, but was beautiful! No crowds or lines anywhere, plenty of places to sit and watch the water, or just relax. The dining room is beautiful, we had MTD so we ate on deck 5. Even with MTD they prefer that you make reservations but we never had any trouble getting seated whenever we went, usually with our same waitstaff, Hi Wendell and Ishay! You were so much fun and most efficient!
We only saw the Welcome Aboard and Farewell shows, but they were excellent as usual. Both offered comedians and both were funny without being X rated. The shops onboard were expensive as usual. Loved people watching on the Royal Promenade and also the 2 parades. Ate in Portofino for formal night, food was good but service was quite slow. Filet and Seafood Tower were delicious. The dessert sampler is our favorite!
Pools were not crowded, probably due to the cool weather, and getting a lounge chair wasn't a challenge. Still have to check out your towels and return them or your SeaPass card will be charged $20. There was a late night buffet party on one of the port nights, we didn't attend, but everyone said it was a blast!
Our cabin steward kept our cabin spotless but she was not at all friendly or outgoing. We had 2 towel animals on our bed. We missed the joking and personable cabin stewards that we have had in the past, but our clean cabin was more important.
Getting off the ship was the easiest disembarking we have had so far. We asked for low number tags so we could get on the road early for our 5 hour drive back to Virginia. We were able to leave in the group right after the groups who took their own luggage off. We had a horrendous cab ride back to the hotel to pick up our car, driver got lost and we almost ended up on Staten Island instead of Elizabeth NJ! A 15 minute transfer turned into a 2 hour nightmare, but we finally got back to our car and on the road by 10:15am. Due to heavy traffic on I95, we finally made it home by 4:30pm, tired but full of great memories and plans to return to Bermuda!