Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by TITISSA: Celebrating the Fourth of July on an English Colony
Member Since 2005
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Celebrating the Fourth of July on an English Colony
My husband and I decided to take this quick 5 day cruise to Bermuda from Bayonne, New Jersey, not only to celebrate the Fourth of July but also being "empty nesters" after we dropped off our younger daughter at UCF. We have been on 37 cruises and still counting. We encountered heavy traffic driving to New Jersey from Connecticut since this was the Saturday before the 4th of July holiday. We expected that. What was surprising was the lack of signs directing to the port. And once at the port, parking took more than 30 minutes. Extremely disorganized and confusing.
Once we were finally parked and walked over to the "Mash Unit" improvised looking tent, we encountered long lines of people still waiting for the rest of their parties and holding up the lines. Priority embarkation was non-existent. It took about 1 hour to check-in. I think this was probably the worst experience I've had after 37 cruises in terms of checking-in.
Putting that all behind, we were greeted with More smiles and a beautiful ship. I can honestly say that except for the railing on the balcony that needs to be painted and the lounge chair upgraded in my cabin, I didn't really see anything wrong with the ship. It was clean and didn't smell. The crew was very attentive and service was very good in all areas. Our cabin was on the hump wich is a great central location. Nice room but the balcony is narrow and a metal wall blocks part of the view. I also don't like the way the balcony is only half glass and half metal. But I knew that and it didn't bother me.
We ate at Portofino's twice, Main Dinning Room twice, and on our balcony while in Bermuda. Food was good in all venues including The Windjammer. Service was equally good. We went to several different bars at night and the quality of drinks were very good. We danced everywhere and even took Latin Dance classes.
While in Bermuda we took the 5 hour tour around the entire island and even though it was interesting, it was too long. Too much driving for one day. It stopped briefly at the Lighthouse and at St. George's. It was too hot to walk around. We opted to have lunch outside the White Tavern overlooking the gorgeous water and boats. We've been to Bermuda more than 5 times so we just wanted to enjoy the beauty that island has to offer.
We really loved the sunset cruise we took later that day. The crew was fun, the sailboat was nice, and the "swizzle" was flowing. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.
After so many cruises I thought I had seen it all. However, for the first time I saw a BBQ being prepared just for the crew right at the pier. It smelled delicious and the crew was having a ball. Good for them.
The next day we took a cab for about $40 dollars to Horseshoe Bay and rented chairs and umbrella. We went early and it was empty. When it started to get crowded we moved to the end of the beach. The water was delicious. Took another cab ($40) back to the ship and walked over to Snorkle Beach. It is a nice small beach against the fort.
I could easily have stayed another day in Bermuda. I love the color of the water, I love the people, I love how everything is so clean, and I love how Bermudians love their island.
That's one cruise that I want to repeat again and again. However, unless Royal Caribbean improves the Port of Bayonne, I'll stick to NYC or Brooklyn. Less
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