Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by THE Lone Cruiser: Relaxation and pure self indulgence
Overall Member Rating
Relaxation and pure self indulgence
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We embarked from Bayonne NJ which is brilliant because anyone in the NE can either drive or take a bus to get to the port. I took a bus which worked out fine, even though it left late, we still arrived at the ship in plenty of time. There were long lines when we arrived, but it is a big ship and they did keep things moving as fast as possible. They had plenty of staff working to get us to our cabins. (It was about 2:00 PM when we arrived and I was in my cabin by 3:30 PM)
My cabin was lovely and so was my stewardess. She was so sweet and had a lovely laugh. My room was kept spotless the whole trip and she is a true artist with the towel animals. Somehow I'd gotten the late seating for dinner and ended up starving by 6 pm so I ate at the buffet that night. Wasn't real impressed, but it's a buffet. They had plenty of choices and wonderful desserts. I did Johnny Rockets and the burger was good as were the fries, but it was a burger More and fries. Nothing special. I enjoyed the company when I ate in the dining room. There were 2 couples from Montreal and another from Ohio. Very lovely people with wicked senses of humor. And I do love to laugh. We teased each other as we ordered 2 entrees or 2 desserts or both. I missed both formal nights, but since my formals didn't fit, well it worked out well. I did the mystery dinner which was again, lots of laughs and well worth the money. The dinner was excellent-Filet mignon, Cooked perfectly.
There were 4 days at sea and 4 port days. I could have missed Puerto Rico. It was a fort and some shopping. St. Thomas was interesting because there is a huge mall right there at the port (don't want to miss one cruiser). I took the tour of the island and it was very interesting. Houses just perched on cliffs. Beautiful views and a fun tour. I didn't go into Samana or Labadie. My favorite part of the cruise was sitting on my balcony with the sun beating down. I truly enjoyed the ability to do as much as I wanted or as little as I wanted.
My one problem with the cruise was that I felt that RCL was nickel and diming us to death. Sorry, but soda is very cheap and bottled water is also very cheap but they charged quite a bit for it. Not fair folks, the fare is not that cheap even breaking it down. They should be able to spring for soda fountain soda. (doesn't have to be cans or bottles) but the soda fountain stuff should have been part of your meal. That's my only negative. Less
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Cabin review: D3 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
I don't know how anyone could stay in anything less than a balcony. The rooms are small, but with the balcony they don't seem claustrophobic. It was quiet and my steward was lovely. I'd like a bigger shower, but hey it's a ship.Read All Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (D3) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
We saw the fort, drove around the island and the tour was fine. I wasn't impressed with the organization of the tour company, but that's just me. The island is beautiful, but there are areas that look so poor it's sad. I understand that this is a tourist economy, but for all the money tourists blow in port, it doesn't seem to be getting to the people who need it.
This port was very organized. We waited a bit when we got off the ship, but not very long and then we were lead to some jitneys. The Jitneys were open on the sides and you could just climb in. The tour guide was funny and stopped at various places for us to shop and take pictures of the incredible views. This was a general tour of the island and I enjoyed it although I knew the places we stopped were there just for us. At the end of the dock there is a huge shopping center. It's got every kind of shop you could ask for but mostly jewelry shops which made me laugh because they were selling the same stuff as on the ship. Still it was a nice place to stroll. On the way back to the ship I had lunch at a crazy restaurant almost right across from the ship. The food was good, but the entertainment was better. I had one of those yard long drinks which is mostly ice, and it was expensive, but I was on a cruise, and I enjoyed my lunch and entertainment.
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