My girlfriend and I have been on other cruises including freedom of the seas ( beautiful ship)so i have something to compare this cruise to. Explorer of the seas, what a great ship she is.I have read a lot of bad reviews about this ship. I don't get it.. Yes she is a few years old but its in really nice shape. Yes there is some rust out side but who cares ? your inside the boat ! if the rust outside really bugs you, bring a can of white paint with ya and go touch it up . Elevators slow ? Nope , they were fine and there is plenty of them.Leaving out of New Jersey was great , we live in Toms River so the 1 hour drive was the easiest trip i have taken to get to vacation , no plans ,trains, hotels ,just park and get on the ship very convenient ! Since we had a suite the boarding was just about instant. I the line in the tent ( terminal ) was long but went fast. once we got to the entrance of the indoor part of the terminal we were sent to suite check in. There was one other couple there with 4 check in agents waiting. I was thinking this is was to easy ! The only issue we had was they entered my account as a cash account and took only $600 from my credit card when i wanted it to be unlimited so on the 2nd sea day we were told from the pool bar that there was no money in my account . This was an easy fix when we went down to see the cranky customer service people. they fixed the problem on one seapass card not my girlfriends card who was under the same account as mine. So about an hour later the same thing happened to her. i went down there with her card and they acted like it was a big problem to fix it.. ( lazy cranky person ).No problems they got it right after 4 visits.( that was my only problem on this entire trip.In the title of this review i said " better then expected" i said that because i was reading on some of the reviews leaving out of jersey there there was going to be a lot of NY and Jersey trailer trash on this ship. well this is what some of the other reviews said...The answer to that is NO, every single person i met or talked to were very very nice people and you become instant friends. The other thing i was thinking was leaving out of jersey we would be puking from the rough seas of the north east. NO , the ship felt like it was not moving all 11 nights of this trip. PERFECT !
The 8th night (i think it was the 8th night ) the ship had to make and emergency stop in puerto Rico because some one had a very serious medical problem,,we heard later on that that person was in ICU but was expected a full recovery thank god !
Food- Every place we ate was great to fine. we didn't have anything that we said wow that was miserable, everything was presented very nice , the food was hot and very tasty. I grow up in NY/Brooklyn ,I eat in some of the best in the city at least once a week, so i do have something to compare it to. some of the reviews said the food sucked... really ?? I just think some people can not be happy and enjoy what they have... for them i say stay home and be miserable .
Main dinning room was excellent , the waiter and asst waiter were very nice and always put an extra plate on our table .I am amazed that the staff can remember your name after meeting you just once.
Booze, once again, great and always fast ! the price of the drinks were not high as alot of reviewers say. its like any other half way decent place you go for a drink the pricing is just about the same .
We enjoyed all the shows that we went to , the ice show is a must do !! At first i didn't want to see it, then i went and wanted to see it again !! it was outstanding !
the piano man was great and the night club the chamber was open till 3 am and we stayed every night till the lights came on ! the bartenders at every bar was outstanding !! especially the Chamber night club !
Cruise director and asst , Chris Northey and Jacinda , awesome ! they kept you busy and they always were entertaining. i been on other cruise with Chris Northey and he was just as good . he has a dry humor and its hysterical.
We are with out a doubt going to book another trip on Explorer out of Bayonne.
there is a rumor that Freedom of the seas is coming north and explorer is going south to port Canaveral. I wonder how true that is. Either way ,,, we are going to book again with RCI and we are leaving from NJ AGAIN !.We are Platinum status so one more trip gets us to emerald.
if you booked this ship and the 11 day to the southern Caribbean you won't be disappointed.
just a little review about the cabin. The JS was perfect for the 2 of us. it had a walk in closet the room was plenty big and it had a 27 inch LCD flat screen TV. the balcony was nice with enough room to get comfortable . we used this balcony alot ! we had a nice size bathroom with a full tub too ! once you get a room like this its almost impossible to go any lower on category .Well worth the extra money to upgrade to this room.
see port reviews.