Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by kitch5: Very Good!
Overall Member Rating
Embarkation: Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
April 9 sailing to Bermuda was a bit cool; nevertheless, had a great time. (Sailed to Bermuda 6 yrs ago in July and the weather was perfect.) This time the travel days were so-so. There were people in the hot-tubs, but pretty cool for the other pools. On the way back, the seas were rough. The pools looked like wave-pools--the water sloshing all around. On the docked days, the heated pools(2) were actually a bit too warm; the unheated one was ice-cold. But the sun was perfect for relaxing on the deck, and I enjoyed relaxing, reading, having the drink of the day (always strong) and listening to the live music. Played mini-golf one day and would have done the golf simulator, but spots were taken up before I had a chance to reserve.
Ship was in fine shape, clean throughout, and upkeep good. Only once did I find a bathroom that needed some over-due attendance. Stateroom attendant did an excellent job and was always easy to find if something needed. Inside cabin on deck 9 More not far from elevator was a good location. Air very dry in cabins. Wait for elevators long when busy times, but not awful. Walking a couple flights not bad--stairs nicely padded. Just when trip is over, you finally get the hang of finding your way around. But ship maps posted all over are very helpful.
I thought the nightly shows' singers and dancers were better than those on the last couple cruises. Book your ice show tickets early. I couldn't get the first day's shows; got tickets for the show on trip home only to hear on the announcements that tickets would not be needed on that show; anyone could come even if you had seen it before. As a result, there were not seats left when we arrived to the theatre a few minutes late. WE did sit on steps in the aisle. The show was excellent--wished we had real seats. Didn't like the idea that they limited the first shows to accommodate a reasonable number and then we couldn't have the same deal. They could use some new activities/shows. The love-and-marriage and quest and sexy-man/legs have been repeated on too many cruises. Need some fresh things for repeat-cruisers. Enjoyed the casino, the tournaments, and could always find a seat at a blackjack table. Good variety of music at pubs/lounges. Like the seapass system and ability to check charges on the interactive tv. Book spa appts early as well--times fill up quickly. Did enjoy a great massage--note that gratuities are automatically added on.
Booked shore excursion--glass bottom boat ride--independently from cruise. Aquatic Bermuda - great tour out of Hamilton. You CAN pay cash for ferry ride (and busses) $4 or $4.50 each way. You don't have to get/buy a day or multi-day pass, but you must have exact change. We brought a roll of quarters for such with us. Last cruise (July) I took bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach--Beautiful! But, didn't think it would be warm enough to swim this time.
Dining room 6 pm was good. Nice table-mates, great service. Good food. Had room service one breakfast--just okay. Windjammer good for breakfast, but could use more help in the omelet-to-order area. Lunch ok. Snacks on promenade always open--cookies yummy. Pizza ok.
Cruise director--Chris-VERY GOOD. Very upbeat, funny, appears fresh, genuine, and un-rehearsed.
Port easy to get to. On and off ship very easy. Parking, though pricey, was safe/secure. Was worried about leaving the caddy, but was intact, just as left on return.
Overall, a great vacation at a reasonable price. Like Royal Caribbean better than Carnival--just better quality and better/bigger pools, altho experience similar. Hope there are more trips out of NJ/NY area in future. Less
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