Safari Explorer Entertainment
There is no traditional entertainment -- no revues, shows, games or karaoke -- aboard Safari Explorer, and thank heaven for that. For one thing, you pretty much fall into bed after dinner each night after a full day's activities. But also, this is not a bingo-playing crowd, and nature is the main focus. Some passengers did profess a longing for formal shipboard presentations to bolster their knowledge of what they'd seen, or were about to see, in daily excursions. But, in a sense, the daily activities are one long lecture, since Explorer expedition leaders are extremely knowledgeable and conversant in local history, geology, geography, horticulture, animal life and social customs. Many of the crewmembers live in the same places they sail, and have special insights into regional issues.
Most excursions -- hikes, snorkeling and diving expeditions, walkabouts, private tours and the like -- are included in the cost of the cruise. Coaching and even hand-holding is provided if you need it, and transportation to and from the activity via inflatable skiff, passenger van or motorcoach is included. Optional add-on excursions are available at an extra cost, which can run into the additional hundreds of dollars. They include, for example, horseback-riding, all-terrain vehicle trips and helicopter tours.
Safari Explorer Public Rooms
There are no Internet cafes, card rooms or atriums on Safari Explorer -- the ship is, after all, a mere 145 feet in length. Passengers hang out on the topmost Bridge Deck, with its large hot tub, chaises and teak furniture; on the main-deck bow and promenade, especially when there are wildlife sightings; and in the main-deck salon and adjacent library, both featuring broad picture windows and leather furniture. The library, which doubles as a game room and wine cellar, has a good variety of guidebooks and field guides, as well as a selection of popular fiction, board and card games, maps, binoculars and trip artifacts. A small reception desk tucked into a corner of the salon is the go-to spot for massage reservations, activity signups and itinerary updates. There's also an annotated color photo of the crew posted there, should you find yourself blanking on your expedition leader's name.
The bridge, by the way, is also considered a public space. Passengers are encouraged to pop in at any time to visit the captain, discuss navigation or simply swap yarns.
Safari Explorer Spa & Fitness
There is a fitness center of sorts, although that term is a bit grandiose for the trio of Nordic Track machines perched amid the lounge chairs in a corner of Bridge Deck. Can't beat the view, though. The deck also is home to a small sauna and a large hot tub, although the latter may be boarded up if the seas are rough. Walkers and joggers can head for the Cabin Deck promenade, which doubles as an excellent track, and yoga enthusiasts can join the classes held each morning on the main deck. And, of course, there's always the fleet of kayaks and other adventure equipment stashed on the main deck, including stand-up paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, fishing poles, wetsuits and snorkel equipment. The ship's full-beam swim step makes it easy to get into the water.
As for spa treatments, you'll find no seaweed body wraps or aromatherapy facials, but will a therapeutic massage do? One free, hourlong massage per passenger is offered; just sign up early in the week (the spots fill up quickly) at the reception desk, and show up at the appointed time in the tiny massage room tucked away on Cabin Deck.