Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by KKLJgirl: Winter Break Cruise
Member Since 2012
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Winter Break Cruise
We were excited to go on our first "big" family vacation in years. My husband and I traveled with our two daughters (13 and 9). We opted for the 6pm dining time and had a wonderful waiter who treated us VERY well, especially our girls. The food and menu items were great. Although we opted for the new wine package, it was always a struggle to get the wine before dessert. The Windjammer had a large buffet, but found that it rarely changed it's items. We ate the same breakfast every morning. The breakfasts and lunches in the dining hall were well worth the time they took, vs the Windjammer.
It became evident that our ship was crowded when on the first nice day, there wasn't a deck chair to be found. We learned quickly that although it was stated you couldn't reserve seats, you had to get up early and do so to have four chairs together. The pools were full with kids, but not nearly as full as the hot tubs. Those that were designated adult only had mostly children in them. More My husband and kids loved the rock wall and the sports deck. They played lots of basketball and ping pong and climbed the wall at least 20 times. The golf simulator was not working the entire cruise and the mini golf was in a location that was so windy, they couldn't get through a full game.
Our cabin was nice, bigger than expected. We booked two inside cabins. Our beds were comfortable and clean. The shows were good, especially the ice show. The ports were great and we had terrific weather. We did an excursion (snuba) and enjoyed the beach.
Although we knew that this would be school break for most, we never anticipated the number of kids that would be on the ship. Over 1100! And there were no rules for these kids... they only had a curfew of 1am. There was destruction to the sports deck, the elevators, etc. My children opted out of the kid's programs after the first night because there were too many involved for the small spaces designated for them.
Labadee was pretty but horribly overcrowded. We were docked with another ship of equal size, so we estimated that there were about 6000 people on a small peninsula. The beach area had rows of lounge chairs 6-8 deep. The majority of the beach was rocky. We waited in line for lunch for 40 minutes. We went back to the ship early to escape the crowds.
We made the best of it and had a great vacation. We would NOT go on a cruise during break ever again! Less
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