9 Night Canada/New England from Bayonne Explorer Sept 2011
Explorer isn't new, she's showing her age in places but is being constantly maintained. Really though, it's the staff that draws us in on Explorer. Having come from a cruise on another ship which left us truly disappointed, we were wondering what to expected. We were impressed rather quickly with the level of service and attitude of her staff.
We choose to stay in a Grand Suite because it gives us the larger balcony and concierge service. Explorer just started a new offering for Suite guests where breakfast is served is Portofino's. Wow - a short trip upstairs to have a staff of waiters and cooks standing by to cook your hearts desire for breakfast? It was amazing, I truly hope they continue it. Adrian is in charge of Portofino's and he coordinates with the Concierge (which is currently Francis as Carlos was on vacation) to offer this.
So the captain on rotation was Capt Loy, who is 36. He'll tell you that Excellence has no age. I supposed Captain Nysetter mentored him to command Explorer as they are similar. He appeared at many events and had his wife and two children on the ship with him.
On a part of our trip, we hit remnants of a hurricane with 25-30 foot seas. The ship handled this really well, the side to side movement was minimized with the four stabilizers out but she was a rocking back and forth a good bit. Many announcements about holding handrails on stairs and proactively taking sea sickness precautions.