533 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

I just returned from the 9 night Bermuda/Caribbean cruise on Explorer of the Seas, and my family and I (husband, daughters ages 9 and 6) had an amazing time. My husband and I have been on over 20 cruises (Royal, Celebrity, Carnival and ... Read More
I just returned from the 9 night Bermuda/Caribbean cruise on Explorer of the Seas, and my family and I (husband, daughters ages 9 and 6) had an amazing time. My husband and I have been on over 20 cruises (Royal, Celebrity, Carnival and Norwegian) and the kids are veterans as well, once or twice a year since they were babies. I especially felt the need to write this after reading negative reviews already (we just got back 2 days ago), and wondering how these people could be on the same cruise! Was it perfect? Of course not, but we are the type of cruisers that don't let little things "ruin our entire cruise!" A few things that we weren't crazy about: 1. The Windjammer was way too crowded at certain times, like the hour before arriving in port, which happened to us a couple of times. Also, although there was a wide variety of food, it never changed. On other cruises there might be a section that changed each day with a taco bar, pasta bar, etc. but nothing like that here. We were saying that it seems that Royal already realized that it wasn't big enough and fixed it on the Freedom class ships, but that didn't help us of course! We did eat in the dining room for breakfast a couple of times, and Johnny Rockets for lunch once, and they were really good. 2. The itinerary was great, and we enjoyed every port, but there was hardly enough time to do anything in St. Martin and San Juan, unless you did a shore excursion. We had a wonderful time in both ports though, shopping in both, although we were in San Juan so early that the only stores that were open were the ones on the shopping map. And that's about it. The rest of the cruise was amazing! I think the ship was in amazing shape, the carpets need to be replaced, they just have that permanent dirt from all of those years of use, and I guess we were lucky that our TV was a flatscreen, it was only used for the kids to watch when we were all getting ready for dinner. We had an ocean view on deck 2, with beds off the wall for the kids. Our cabin steward Anak was the best we have had as far as we can remember. He was always asking if we needed anything, and if we did, it was taken care of right away. He kept the room neat(quite a task with the four of us in there!), it was done basically as soon as we left the room. I cannot say enough good things about him! We did have a little problem at first with dinner, but it ended up working out beautifully. We had confirmed early seating up until the day we cruised. Then we get our seapass cards and it says My Time Dining. When my husband asked about it, they told him that we got bumped, they just booked too many early seating passengers. So then he said that he wanted to make a reservation for 6 that night, he was told that they couldn't do that for that night, all they had was 7:45. He made a reservation for 6 the next night, and we just decided to deal with the 7:45. There was no Adventure Ocean the first night anyway, and we wouldn't have to rush out of the sailaway party, where the kids were in the pool. It was fine, and worked out. The next day we got a card saying that they were able to put us in early seating. My husband went to ask about it and was told that we were at a table for 10. This got us really nervous, because although my kids know what they are doing on cruises and are well behaved at dinner, we all know that there are people that hate kids on cruises. It turns out that we were with a family with teenagers and a 5 year old, and they ended up being some of the best tablemates we've ever had. And we had a great spot right in the middle of the bottom deck, right next to the captains table. On the ship we were walking advertisements for Royal Caribbean and all of the activities they are known for- we played mini golf twice, ice skated twice, my kids made great use of the Adventure Beach water slide, and my older daughter did the rock wall. Both kids loved Adventure Ocean too. My husband and I got a couples massage, and while we loved it of course, we did this on Carnival last year, and both agreed that it was better there. I also did not like the pressure we got to buy products- they do at every spa, but other times, they have made their recommendations, then left and said to bring what I wanted to the receptionist. This time she stared at us and asked if we were buying. I told her I wanted to check the seapass bill first and we'd be back. My husband and I spent most of our kid-free nights at the casino, but we did see the ice show and one of the production shows. I loved the music all around the ship. My husband got the premium drink package, and since we are diamond members, I got my three free drinks each night. I had one issue on the last night, where I was at a table at the casino, and when I ordered my drink it was 8:25, and I even made a joke about just making it, but when the server came back I was charged, it seems that by the time she took the rest of the orders and got to the bar, it was after 8:30. I'm sure I could have gone to the bar and made a stink, but it was the last night and time was running out before I had to get the kids, so I let it go. It was just a beer anyway. So as I said it was an amazing cruise, and now my kids are insisting on Royal for the next one, specifically one with an ice rink. That is fine with us, because it was such a wonderful family vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
First of all I would never of thought I would write a review but after this trip I felt it was necassary to share some information . We are 3 familes that travel every year and this was our first time together on RCCL. We are in our 40s ... Read More
First of all I would never of thought I would write a review but after this trip I felt it was necassary to share some information . We are 3 familes that travel every year and this was our first time together on RCCL. We are in our 40s and children are ages from 13- 18. Lets first say that our kids were bored . There was close to 500 teens on board and only 2 activity coordinators for these kids. Activities were canceled and there was no notification. There was a kids dodgeball event and a ball went overboard they canceld actvity.We recieved alot of apologies for this but nothing changed regardless. At night there was nothing going on for the kids.The Optix club never had anyone in there because there was no one in there to moniter the room. Most of the kids hung out on the sports deck playing basketball every night. Plus there was not enough security by basketball court at night Food- We never made it to the Dining room except for Dinner which was always good . As for buffet it was the same food every day and night.We had dinner there one night and it was a mess.The staff never cleaned up the food trays and it almost looked like a school cafateria. Pool Deck- Very boring- Only 3 activities at pool deck for the 9 days- Belly Flop ,Sexy Man and Baggo( which is bean bag tossing) Really ?. Same reggae band played 3 sets a day for an hour other than that is was 80s music all day .If you get to pool deck early to put towels down which is frowned upon they will take the towles off the chairs if you are away more than 30 minutes. Evening shows- Some shows good and some were very poor. When they had shows in the maharaja lounge,if you did not get there at least 45 min earlier it would be difficult to get a seat. They had karaokee every night.I am not a fan of karaokee but to do it every night is a bit much. They also had a sing a long at the piano bar.Every night the same routine.It felt like there was no emphasis put on the Adult activities . Cruise Dircetor- Leigh is very funny and witty unfortunatly was not around enough. I actually thought Yerky was the cruise director until 3 days in. Islands- Bermuda very nice... St marteen 1-730.. We didnt get off ship til almost 145 Not the best time to go to and island to go to beach and shop ,You can do one or the other. San Juan-- 8- 2 which really means 830 to 130- Shops dont open til 10 so options limited labadee -- wasnt impressed but kids enjoyed it excpet for seaweed that was in the water and no place to stand. Staff- My waiter and server were Exceptional and my cabin steward was great also- Unless they were taking care of you individualy they were not that friendly I guess becuase it didnt reflect there gratuity. Overall ship condition- I thought the ship was very good condition even though it is going to be dry docked in December. Prior to this we were on NCL the last 2 years and we will go back to NCL. I always thought that RCCL was the King of all cruises but there standards have changed. Even some of the staff had commented on the cut backs that RCCL had made.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Hotel Information - We stayed on Staten Island at the Hampton Inn. Good staff and very affordable. They provided parking while we cruised, shuttle to and from the port, and breakfast in the morning. The staff was friendly and helpful. Be ... Read More
Hotel Information - We stayed on Staten Island at the Hampton Inn. Good staff and very affordable. They provided parking while we cruised, shuttle to and from the port, and breakfast in the morning. The staff was friendly and helpful. Be aware, that the pick of the shuttle for us was 45 minutes late. Other than that, we were happy with our experience. Ship Information - Ship was in good condition. We like this size of ship better than the smaller ships because of the variety of activity. Activities - Great variety of activities. There was always something to do if you wanted. Service - As always, Royal Caribbean staff always provide terrific service. The staff got to know us quickly and attended to our needs. The one time we needed assistance with changing something, they were able to accommodate us quickly. They are the reason that we will sail with them again. Port and excursions - Very happy with the choices we made except for one stop. I recommend the walking tour of Old San Juan and the visit to the butterfly farm on Saint Maarten. Both were very interesting events. Also, on Bermuda, we visited the museum on King's Warf. For $12 per person, its a great way to learn a lot about the history of Bermuda. Skip the Deviil's Isle tour. Its not worth your time. Cabin was exactly what we expected based on our previous experiences. It was clean and well kept. We had a interior cabin so we didn't spend much time in it except for sleeping. Dining - The food was outstanding. Really enjoyed the huge variety and everything we ate was well prepared. We only went to the Portofino restaurant once. It was good but with the high quality of the food available elsewhere, its not necessary to spend your money on the optional restaurant. The night we went, it was a murder dinner theater. It was fun and enjoyable. Children's club - The kids enjoyed the activities that they participated in. Our children made friends on the ship quickly. They chose to spend most of their time hanging out with the new friends. The entertainment at night was excellent. We went to all of the shows and were very happy with all of them except for one. We never had a problem getting a seat. We enjoyed the live music available throughout the ship. Disembarkation - It was pretty well done. We stood in line for about 20 - 30 minutes but it wasn't too bad. We waited in the dining room so there was plenty of room for people to sit. Summary - Overall, we were very happy with our experience. Taking a 9 night cruise is definitely a great way to spend a vacation   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I won't bore anyone with a long review, so her it goes.....Cape Liberty port is disgusting, but you're not there that long so no bigeee. Parking was $171.00 for (9) days. The ship is definitely outdated and in need of an ... Read More
I won't bore anyone with a long review, so her it goes.....Cape Liberty port is disgusting, but you're not there that long so no bigeee. Parking was $171.00 for (9) days. The ship is definitely outdated and in need of an overhaul. It's very 90'sish, colors are old and our room had a box TV. We were never in the room, so it was easy to deal with. Our stateroom attendant was awful, she was never around so we made do. The food was excellent in the dining room and the staff there were AWESOME !!! The buffet upstairs (Windjammer) was good, a lot like the Golden Coral on steroids.....We didn't try the specility restaurant. The pool area was a lot of fun just small. The entertainment was OK, I've been on other ships where the talent was amazing, but it was still enjoyable. The ports were fantastic and it was very easy getting on and off the ship. I'm not a big gambler, but I heard several people complain that the slots didn't pay out that much. Go see the C Wind band in the Viking Crown, THEY WERE THE BEST ! Overall, we had a great time and would do this cruise again. I was told the Liberty of the Seas is replacing this ship, so that's a good thing. My review 4 out of 5 Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Background: This was my third cruise and my husband's fifth. We are both in our early 30s. We were very blessed on this trip to have mostly calm seas and good weather, which was right off the bat a huge improvement over my last cruise ... Read More
Background: This was my third cruise and my husband's fifth. We are both in our early 30s. We were very blessed on this trip to have mostly calm seas and good weather, which was right off the bat a huge improvement over my last cruise in which a hurricane tailed the ship across the Caribbean and closed half our ports of call. We hit the jackpot in two other ways as well, one being that we had easily the best random stranger tablemates I've had (all young couples around our own age, and we ended up hitting it off immediately), and I had one of the best surprises I've ever had the day before our departure, when I logged in to triple-check our reservation and discovered that the actual, mythical upgrade fairy had bestowed upon us a leftover balcony. YAY! Embarkation: Barring a few impatient guests, the whole thing was overall smooth and nothing to note. The ship: We've previously sailed on both the Voyager and Liberty so were familiar with what to expect. She seemed to be in pretty well-oiled condition. I understand the ship is due for dry dock this coming winter, meaning her interior is older. You can see this if you're looking for it, in the carpets, the older tvs, the windows seeming in need of a good powerwashing in some areas. But really, she was as clean and tidy (if not more so) than the vast majority of hotels I've stayed in. I'm really only describing this because I've seen others mention concern, really, I would have otherwise thought nothing of it. The room: Like I said, we lucked out and were moved to a leftover balcony just prior to cruising. It was my second time in a balcony. The cabin we were moved to was #7660 which is port side, aft above the rear lifeboats. We must not have been the only cruisers struck by lightning, because several cabins around us were listed as available the day before the cruise, and were all full on the voyage. Being port side on this sailing was definitely the way to go. We ended up on the dock-side at all four ports, and got to enjoy observing the docking procedures for the first time. The cabin did still have one of the old-style tvs (which my husband made much mockery of), but one potential perk for privacy lovers is that the cabin is right next to a fire wall/door, meaning the one wall is thicker and the balcony wall on that side is made of metal, not a divider. The service: My husband and I are pretty low-key travelers and didn't run into any snafus on this trip. In my experience everything was great. Both our room steward and waiters were perfectly friendly and helpful when we had questions. Our stateroom attendant brought us a corkscrew and wineglasses no questions asked, and on more than one occasion both in the Windjammer and in our hallway, someone stopped what they were doing to help me carry my things (I swear, I'm young and not frail). One of the high points of the ship you can't miss, is the lady who mans the purell station outside the Windjammer and sings dance songs about handwashing. She's hysterical and often had the kids dancing with her. Speaking of kids, a general observation: There were far fewer kids than I expected for a summer cruise. I don't know if it's because it was a longer trip, or the crazy winter resulted in longer school years and fewer vacation days for the parents, but I didn't feel like I was constantly seeing kids dart around the way I did on our last sailing on Liberty. Activities: We didn't go to most of the parades or shows. At 30, ice shows and musical reviews generally aren't our thing. We did go to the comedy show on opening night and were moderately entertained, as much from people watching as from the actual show. We also did trivia on several occasions and enjoyed this. We had a general gripe that they need to limit the size of the teams here, us playing as two just can't compete against big 6-7 person families. However when you're competing for a keychain your gripe isn't really worth worrying over. It's just for fun. The food: My husband and I had differing opinions here. I'm a pretty adventurous eater, with a lot of influence from the local health nut/international communities where I live. From this perspective I found some high points worth noting, mainly the station in the Windjammer dedicated to Indian and Asian food (and usually vegetarian Indian at that), and the make-your-own stir-fry they have available at dinnertime. This is a very worthy alternative if nothing on the MDR menu is calling to you. We ended up doing just that on two of the casual nights. As far as the MDR goes, we did both notice that the portions were smaller than we had on our last cruise (several years ago), but as both of us have grown more health-conscious since then we were fine with this. We both tried several things with both hits and misses, my personal favorite being a chocolate espresso souffle for dessert one night. Di-vine. One major downside we both also agreed on: this ship can't cook a scallop to save its life. Seriously, don't get them. We tried them three times between us and every time felt they were slightly undercooked. We did have lobster night (second formal night), and all three guys at the table ordered it. One mentioned how he loved lobster and was sure he wanted two, and our waiter (Andrew) brought an extra tail not only for him but for all three of them. We thought that was pretty cool. Also, the coconut ranger cookies that everyone on Cruise Critic mentions loving made frequent appearances, and we loved them so much I've been googling recipes to try and recreate them at home. As far as the coffee goes, I drink it regularly. I've seen criticism of the Windjammer coffee so I'll say I found it pretty comparable to what you'd get at a place like IHOP. It's not gourmet but it's certainly better than the can of Folger's they give us at work. One last thing about food: We went to Johnny Rockets one day for lunch and it was good, pretty comparable to Five Guys we thought. But we'd like to suggest to RCI that what they really need to to replace it with Chipotle. The ports: We were blessed with remarkably calm seas and good weather on our trip. However when I say that, please note I'm a fisherman's wife and don't blink at a little swaying. We decided on two excursions The first, in Bermuda, was a catch-and-release reef fishing trip (reference the previous section). This was actually far more fun than catching rockfish at home because the crew really knew their spots and put us right on top of the fish. Everyone on the boat caught something and most people more than one. So for my H, this was great, and for me the pace was fast enough to keep my attention and hey, I got a nice boat right and view of the reef out of it. Our other excursion was a trip to the El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico. They call it a hike in the program, but all the paths are paved (they need to be, it would be very muddy otherwise); it is really more of a nature walk with some stairs and hills. The downside to this trip is easily the long bus ride it takes to get from the cruise port to the rainforest. You definitely want to be off the ship and ready to go when they dock. But on the other hand, it was really beautiful in the forest, there were no mosquitoes, we saw some great views and some wildlife, and the temperature was perfect compared to the hot sun by the port. If you like getting out, I think this is a part of Puerto Rico worth seeing. Debarkation: It is a crying shame that RC doesn't put more effort into this. It's the very last part of your cruise you experience and probably the first thing in your mind when you get home. Anyway, since we had driven and had a long day of driving and relatives ahead of us, we decided to the the self-debarkation a whirl rather than waiting for our tags. This was just awful. We were told by various crew members that when we arrived at our waiting area, we'd get numbered tickets to organize the procedure. So, we showed up an hour early and were among the first there. No crew members, no tickets. More people arrive. Finally, just after the ship has officially docked, Erky from Turkey strolls in and states that the line will form on one side of the room, eliciting shouts from people on the other side who 'arrived first' (but after us, although we aren't the type to shout and make a scene over this). He promptly caves and moves the line to their side, disgruntling all the people on the first side who had arrived early too. So now we all move to the 'line', except Erky has left and placed another crewmember in charge, who vaguely directly newcomers to the end side of the room. Then when they call us to start downstairs, makes no effort to control which side of the room is leaving first and the thing ends as basically a free for all. Super organized guys. Seriously, that ticket thing people had mentioned to us would have worked so much better. The only upside to this whole thing was that we did, in fact, get off the ship around 9:30, breezed through customs, and were headed home before most regular tickets would have even been called. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We were part of a forum that started 486 days before we sailed. Over that time almost 2,500 posts were made with over 30,000 page views. A great deal of information was shared, questions asked and answered. Our group grew to 150+ people ... Read More
We were part of a forum that started 486 days before we sailed. Over that time almost 2,500 posts were made with over 30,000 page views. A great deal of information was shared, questions asked and answered. Our group grew to 150+ people that we met finally at the Meet & Mingle the Royal Caribbean puts on for free on a sailing day outbound. Beyond the M&M we organized other actives aboard ship with those that read the forum and wanted to participate. We ran an "investment seminar" at the slot machine. We put our $15 in at $5 a yank hoping the last yank would win a big jackpot for all to share. Since we did not hit on the last pull we decided to donate the left over funds to the Make A Wish foundation for some terminally ill child to take a cruise. I gave the funds to the cashier and they announced it over the ship's broadcast system during the walk on board for the Make A Wish foundation. Now, onto the review of the trip. We arrived at 10:30am, off loaded the luggage and checked in. I believe we were onboard by noon in our cabin. The ship is going into dry dock for repairs/upgrade whatever. So, yes the carpets were worn, the wood railings and such were worn as the paint was in certain areas. It did not distract us from our vacation. With a very responsive I board crew, things went well. The food is ok, no 4 Seasons here but I noticed no overt complaints and the usual array of folks with different eating styles from minimal to ' where's the plate?' Types. Portofino was a nice one night change from the Windjammer or Main Dining room. We did like the "My Time" dining feature. Activities on board are up to you but generally I did not here if any complainers. We did find a few buffoons that would argue over a lounge chair by the pool, or try and shove themselves past others from the back of the bus and plow forward. However, since our M&M group was so large enough people got the word out that most of us were able to avoid any contact with these few types, even the lady that threw herself across the T-shirt table sale onboard. They do need to improve the hours of operations for booking on-board for future trips if the OBC and such are a temptation. If finally got my 2016 trip booked but it took a few days of passing by the sales area to get it done. As I mentioned, if you get past customers with poor manners the ship bound voyage was fun. Getting off the ship is a different matter. Not until I was off the ship in Bermuda, did I find out my Snuba excursion was cancelled due to water conditions. I wished RCL and the RCL vendor had established a better communications protocol so I would not be left just standing there. I waited and found my family and we found a last minute replacement, the glass bottom boat tour. On getting on thar boat my camera slipped and fell into the water at the dock. The tour operator asked if it was waterproof, yes it was, and odd he goes diving into the water to recover my camera safe, sound and operable! While he was digging around underwater, I got some dash from my wife to tip him regardless of the outcome for the effort he made! I did get the camera back, the rest if the tour was very nice. So, lighting strikes again when I get off the ship in St. Marteen. I asked where I should go and was told to disembark. I did not read the instructions on the ticket that wanted us to meet in a certain place on the ship. Those that were there were left there for a long time. Again, more mis-communication between RCL and their vendor, with the vendor making us somewhat uncomfortable with how she was throwing RCL 'under the bus' when I expect it was a mutual foul-up. The trip onshore was nice. The bus tour in San Juan got off without a hitch and I thought our bad luck was behind us. Actually, part of it was. So e woman would try and push her way from the back to the front when we hit a stop off point. Why she could not wait for an orderly exit from the bus I do not know why but she was that way getting on and off the bus. Not the tour operator's fault but an annoying distraction nonetheless. So, feeling we're were going to have a trip without issues, the bus makes a turn right to go up past the old fort San Juan and his transmission would not get us going. So we started a nice traffic jam trying to get up, backing up, going up until finally the police officer got us turned around and back on course. Off to Labadee the island RCL has a private lease with Haiti for. Yep, the coordination here went haywire. Whatever RCL badged employee I asked where were the cabins at Nellie's Beach, none of them knew where Nellie's was! They said "Nellies" very clearly in the rest if the sentence in their language they speak. We went through a lot of people, constant handing off and more radio chatter. Finally they found a cabin on the beach an put us there, I still wonder if that was the exact cabin I was supposed to get, the beachhead is mild, nice and no waves. Avoid the sellers in the little huts, they hustle you to no end and can make you feel very uncomfortable. The brick building selling wares was much better, nano hustle and helpful staff. Lunch was fair. Back on board depending on what your like to do is up to you. I am sure you will read a lot of pluses and minuses on thus forum about certain aspects if whatever. I still think the M&M set the proper tone with me and the hellos and conversations we had with M&M and non-M&M folks was very enjoyable. Getting off the ship was late and a pain. Once past customs, I was able to load my car and take my family and luggage home. I did not a long line of vehicles waiting to get into the ship by noon. My advice is to leave early and not to stress. I know some folks may have missed connections/flights etc. if you can, always build in some more cushion if time to allow for fouls ups if your schedule permits. We had two Superior Balcony cabins and loved them. Quantum in 2015 will be similar but I did get a center back JS for the 2016 cruise :-) Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We have been on 23 cruises over the past 20 years. This was our fourth cruise with RCI. We arrived at the terminal at around 11:00 to find two long lines of cars waiting to drop off their luggage, which took about 45 minutes. After paying ... Read More
We have been on 23 cruises over the past 20 years. This was our fourth cruise with RCI. We arrived at the terminal at around 11:00 to find two long lines of cars waiting to drop off their luggage, which took about 45 minutes. After paying for parking ($19/night), we were directed to a tent and got a number to board the bus which would take us to the ship. We were on the ship by 12:15 and a quick and seamless check-in. The port is under construction building a new terminal and while not ideal right now, it will be a wonderful option in the future. It was a pleasure not having to fly as the port is only 1-1/2 hours from our home. We immediately went to lunch in the Windjammer, which was jammed! It was difficult finding seats for the 8 of us, but we managed. At 1:30, an announcement was made that cabins were now ready, so we dropped off our carry-ons and then explored the Explorer! Although old and scheduled for a dry dock rehab next year, I found the ship to be in nice condition, certainly nothing to be concerned about. The food in the Main Dining Room was wonderful. I can't understand some of the complaints I read previously. We had My Time Dining and I had made reservations on line beforehand for the 8 of us. We ended up at the same table each night and with the sames servers, Imdat and Michael, were attentive, funny and caring of our requests. We did not to any ship excursions. We went to Horshoe Bay in Bermuda - took the bus for $8 r/t; did a private excursion in St. Maarten, walked around old San Juan because we were only there for such a short time and spent a gorgeous day in Labadee. We found the service by everyone on the ship to be great, especially Guest Services when my husband got sick one day . They were very helpful. Our cabin was kept spotless although we did not see much of our cabin steward, which is the way we like it! I would have given this ship a "10" except for two things, We were very disappointed in Portofinos. Not only were the menu choices limited and uninteresting, but the food came out cold and was not very good. We all agreed the food in the MDR was far superior to what we had in Portofinos. I had made reservations on line beforehand as we were celebrating our 47th wedding anniversary so this was disappointing. Also, we were seated in the entrance way and that certainly lacked ambiance. I will say that service was okay. The other disappointment was the entertainment, mainly the three production shows. Only one we considered okay, but the other two were certainly not worth watching. The cruise director, Leigh and his co-hort, Erky from Turkey, were highly amusing and very enjoyable, as were the various parties they had each night. I will be sure to attend The Quest on any more RCI cruises I do - that was a riot! Disembarkating was slow, but we expected that because we knew we had to board the buses again to return to the terminal. However, we were back in our home by 12 noon! All in all, it was a fabulous cruise and one which we would like to do again, expecially when the Quantum or Liberty cruises out of the Port Liberty.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was the first time sailing out of Bayonne. Our group of four consisted of two 18 year olds, a 52 year old mom, and an 80 year old active grandma. We live in Brooklyn so Bayonne turned out to be super convenient. Traffic on a Thursday ... Read More
This was the first time sailing out of Bayonne. Our group of four consisted of two 18 year olds, a 52 year old mom, and an 80 year old active grandma. We live in Brooklyn so Bayonne turned out to be super convenient. Traffic on a Thursday morning was not too bad and we arrived at the port in about 45 minutes. Embarkation was relatively smooth and we were aboard ship by 12:45. Went directly to the Windjammer for lunch. Had a little trouble finding a table for 4, but not too bad considering the hour. Of course, it was packed. The quality and variety of food was surprisingly good. We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet daily and dinner in the MDR. The quality of food in the MDR was far superior and we thoroughly enjoyed our meals. The service was exceptional. Our waiters, Erol and Jeffrey were fantastic! They were super friendly and very accommodating and seemed genuinely concerned that we were happy with the food and service. In fact, everyone we encountered seemed to try their best to make us happy, from guest services to our room steward. We all agreed, as seasoned cruisers with over 30 cruises on over 7 different cruise lines, that the service and the professionalism and friendliness of the crew was the best we ever encountered. Because of this we will certainly sail with Royal Caribbean again from Bayonne. The reviews saying the ship is run down or dirty is simply not the case. Yes, she is an older ship, but she has been impeccably maintained. We had inside cabins on Deck 7 and we found them to be spacious and well-appointed with enough hangers, closet pace, and storage. The quality of the food in the MDR was superb. We enjoyed every meal. The buffet was surprisingly good too although we found the burgers to be too well-done for our liking. We enjoyed all the shows, especially the ice skating show. Daytime activities were numerous and varied. No complaints. We enjoyed all the ports. Labadee was beautiful. We would sail again just to visit this port. All in all we really enjoyed everything about this cruise and would not hesitate to sail again on the Explorer. If you can go just go. You won't be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was my third cruise and first time on Explorer. We did read CC reviews beforehand and joined a very active M&M group online. Without question, we had a great time and would sail on Explorer again. We drove up from Virginia the ... Read More
This was my third cruise and first time on Explorer. We did read CC reviews beforehand and joined a very active M&M group online. Without question, we had a great time and would sail on Explorer again. We drove up from Virginia the morning of departure and parked ($19/day) at the port. We chose to park and roll our bags to the "tent" terminal instead of waiting in the luggage drop off line, and highly suggest everyone do this. We arrived at 10:30am, quickly went through check in, and then waited for about 45 minutes to load the bus and get on the ship. Surprisingly quick embarkation for the chaotic terminal that is being replaced now with the construction of a new terminal. We then fought the crowds at the Windjammer and had a first cocktail at the Sky Bar. Vacation began! Our room 8618 (hump cabin with balcony) was a perfect size for two, clean, and comfortable. Our cabin steward Henry wasn't seen often, but our room always was cleaned up throughout the trip. Yes, we had an older tube TV (I didn't really care) and the furniture was a little scuffed, but nothing that ruined our vacation. The lid/seat on our toilet broke on the 6th day and was replaced within 6 hours and I never had to say anything, as it was repaired automatically. The ship looks great. Ignore the nay-sayers who say she is poor condition. Yes, it is not new, but the maintenance staff could be seen all week painting, cleaning, and keeping her in good condition. I am impressed with how good it looks knowing there are 3000+ on her every week for over 12 years. Food in the MDR was good to excellent each night. Some items better than others, and when I didn't like something, our waiter brought me something else. Our waiter Christopher and assistant waiter Maria did a super job keeping us happy, with plenty of Asiago cheese rolls, more than one appetizer each, and always asked if we wanted to try different entrées. We did dress in tuxes on the two formal nights, and about 25% that we saw did as well. But many wore nice suits, and that was fine. Lastly, The Windjammer is a buffet and always had plenty of options to choose from. The fresh omelet station is a must in the mornings. We only watched one of the main theatre shows, and it was pretty good. We preferred spending our evenings in the lounges listening to live bands. Really enjoyed the Latin group Azucar in the Aquarium bar and C Wind Band in Dizzy's. Wasn't much of a fan of the piano guy in the Schooner bar. Even though the ship was sold out, we never had a problem finding a deck chair, and enjoyed the pools and Jacuzzis often. The best bartender is Arif at the Sky Bar. Go see him! The poolside fun was a mix of DJ music, Caribbean music group Umoja 4, line dancing, and games and contest. All fine. The cruise director Leigh and activities director Irky are both great. The best piece of entertainment is the Ice Show. Fantastic performances and a not to be missed activity. We also partook of the Casino with some blackjack and slots and always had fun. Beware of the smoking in there if you are easily bothered by that. We also enjoyed the rock climbing wall and mini golf. So much to do onboard, I can't see how people get bored. Ports we visited were all good: Bermuda we went snorkeling, St. Maarten we took a taxi to Moho Beach to watch the airplanes land, San Juan we went to the Bacardi factory and then shopped, and on Labadee we just relaxed on the beach. Didn't spend a lot of money in ports and still had a great time each day. Sadly, the cruise had to come to an end. 9 nights is great cruise length. We did self assist disembarkation, which means we carried our own bags off the ship. We got off very quickly but heard others had a horrific experience with disembarking. In summary, Explorer is a fantastic ship with a super staff. No, it is not a shiny new bauble, but they do take care of her. We enjoyed our cruise immensely and are booked for another RCI cruise for summer of 2015. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We have cruised on Explorer of the Seas out of Bayonne 3 times. It is never quick to get through the traffic but this time was ridiculous. We left our home in Rockland County NY at 11:15, breezed down to Newark and got on the road to the ... Read More
We have cruised on Explorer of the Seas out of Bayonne 3 times. It is never quick to get through the traffic but this time was ridiculous. We left our home in Rockland County NY at 11:15, breezed down to Newark and got on the road to the terminal...and sat and sat and sat in traffic. Our driver was starting to get really frustrated. What should be a ten minute trip took over and hour. The check in was a breeze and we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. We were in a JS on deck 9. We were mid ship and loved the room and location which was close to the elevators and made it easy to get to everything. We decided to eat our dinners in the Wind Jammer as dh doesn't care to wait through dinner service. We found the variety and quality of the food to be fine..not super but certainly we always found a variety of things to eat and we liked having so many choices. We did eat in Portofino and both were impressed. The food was so good and the waiter was attentive without being intrusive. We had visited all of the ports several times and did not do any excursions. We wnt to all of the shows and thought they were all worth viewing although we did not care for the show with all the older songs. We especially enjoyed the head liner Zack! Disembarkation was a repeat of embarkation. We finally made it to the pick up area about 11:00 am but our diriver didn't reach us til 12:00 because of the bottleneck of cars. We very much enjoyed our cruise and the ship except for getting to and from the ship! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
If you like cruises in general, this review is not for you. We went on our first cruise to be able to visit three new countries while still having a toddler with us. Husband, wife and 9 month old child. This ship is not meant for kids ... Read More
If you like cruises in general, this review is not for you. We went on our first cruise to be able to visit three new countries while still having a toddler with us. Husband, wife and 9 month old child. This ship is not meant for kids under 3 years old. (Almost) every singel day, we had to convince some of the staff in a restaurant to help us heat up the baby food. There is a play room, which is really a lounge that they put out a few toys in on the floor. It closes at 3 pm, some times at 4 pm. And there were small objects on the floor for the day before when the place is used as a bar/lounge. Not suitable for kids. So over to the cruise in general. I've never been together with so many obese americans at one time. The average age was about 50 years. The ship is cheezy old, and in desperate need for an update. The food is average. The dinners give you a choice of things, and the staff will help you pick out things. Some days the food was really great here, but breakfast and lunch is always the same buffet. But at the end of the cruise they start to run out of things. We're a young couple, who travel around the world and love beeing active. The activities on this ship is a joke. The all american "please-dont-sue-us" policy makes everything extremely boring. Rock climbing is like this: wait for 15 minutes to sign up. Stand in line for 10 minutes. Climb one route, once with smelly shoes and helmet. Then wait in line for another 10-15 minutes to get a chance to try again. After 45 minutes, the session is closed. There is no lead climbing. We went from Cape Liberty to Bermuda, then St Maarten, then Puerto Rico and lastly Haiti. In all of these places, time is very limited,but you get of the ship right away an into a taxi instead of paying for excursions aimed at old people, you're set to see some good things. There is enough time to get to the french side of st maarten and Maho beach which is a cool airport next to the beach where planes come in right over you. Do some research before you leave to decide what you want to see, then tell the taxi driver. There are taxies waiting for you at all ports except Haiti. Puerto Rico is really not nessecary to do with a taxi. In Haiti, they will not let you out of their resort. Even with a stamped passport. They used to have a waiver program, but this has been discontinued. They will not let you out, so don't waste your (short and precious) time like I did. And when you decide to jump into the water at the beach, there are lines about 30 meters out in the see that you can't swim across, making you feel like you are inside a giant prison for adults that are not fit to enjoy and look out for them selves. There is no point bringing snorkeling gear to Haiti Labadee.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
First off this was my 2nd time on RCL, 7th cruise overall. We had two cabins an Inside and a balcony room SHIP- The ship it self is starting to show its age, but you can tell crew is trying hard to make sure she still looks beautiful. She ... Read More
First off this was my 2nd time on RCL, 7th cruise overall. We had two cabins an Inside and a balcony room SHIP- The ship it self is starting to show its age, but you can tell crew is trying hard to make sure she still looks beautiful. She is a little bigger then a mid size ship but no huge like some of the new ones. The ship is easy to navigate around. The royal promenade is awesome, wish ever ship did there promenades like this. The ship never really felt super crowed even tho we were walling at full capacity. The ship has a lot to offer people so we never felt board at any time. Stateroom- The rooms were a little on the smaller size for an inside cabin and about standard size for the balcony. The closets were extremely small, also not a lot of storage space. It would be hard to fit more then 2 people in a inside cabin. The rooms were clean but you could still tell she is in need for a makeover. Food- Very hit and miss everywhere. Main dining was just ok, windjammer just ok. We ate all our dinners in the main dinning room and nothing ever blew us away and wanting more. We also ate most of our lunch in the main dining room too and had the same affect on us. The windjammer is your typical buffet food so nothing surprising. Crew- This was probably one of the best crews we have ever experienced on any cruise. They did a wonderful job, from our steward to our waiters to the random crew that made our cruise that much better thank you! Embarkation/Debarkation- Was an absolute NIGHTMARE. It took forever to get into the terminal area, you get in line with all the other cars and it just takes forever to be dropped off. Getting off the ship was the worst experience out of any cruise we have ever taken. We were suppose to get of around 9:45-10 we were group 5 so not bad but RCL decided to call all numbers between 1-19 at the same time so it was crazy trying to get off the ship, horrible crowd management. We didn't get off the ship until 12:30-1:00 Overall- We had a wonderful time on RCL yes the ship needs a makeover and yes the food could have been better and yes they need to figure out a better plan for coming and leaving the ship but we would totally sail on RCL again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Embarkation and Debarkation: The Bayonne, NJ port is by-far the worst and most disorganized that we have experienced, compared to the NYC and Miami ports. The main reason is that you must take a shuttle from the main registration/customs ... Read More
Embarkation and Debarkation: The Bayonne, NJ port is by-far the worst and most disorganized that we have experienced, compared to the NYC and Miami ports. The main reason is that you must take a shuttle from the main registration/customs building to the ship, whereas at other ports you can walk right onto the ship. The wait for the shuttles is what makes the process super long. We arrived for embarkation and got a shuttle number at 10am and did not board the ship until past 12 noon - advice: arrive early! Debarkation was even worse - we lined up for the "express" self-assist at 9am and it took 1.5hrs to get off the ship and off the shuttle...and this is before you even reach the customs building! Again, long waits all due to that darn shuttle!! Many people volunteered to just walk (honestly, it would've been a quick 5 min walk), but the shuttle was not optional! Never ever ever again will we cruise out of Bayonne, NJ....FML! Entertainment: Not much to do or see during the day if you are like us and in your 20s. Evening headliner shows were the same old singers and dancers every time. Love and Marriage show was pretty lacklustre and not very funny compared to the ones on the Carnival ships - maybe it was just that the couples they chose on our cruise were really boring? lol i dont know! If you want a seat at the Quest show, get there at least 30mins early otherwise it becomes standing room only. No magic shows or comedy shows, which was a bummer. Lots of trivia, bingo, jewelery-making, food demos, and scrap-booking sessions. Pools and Hot Tubs: Abundance of these all around the ship and most are 24hrs. Not very crowded, so I'm sure you can find a spot - the ones in the Solarium are probably your best bet! Lounge Chairs: No need to wake up early to reserve lounge chairs on the decks - plenty for everyone, even on sea days! Food: Windjammer buffet sucks, especially at lunch time. Exact same pasta, burgers and hot dogs every single day, with no variation (not at all an exaggeration). The best burger is the room service bistro burger, and the best pizza is in Cafe Promenade (windjammer and room service pizza not as good). Main dining room food was excellent - pick one of the port days to go to Portofino (main dining room menu not as good on those evenings) Advice: If you want "my-time dining", make sure to book this option at the time of your reservation. Don't book set-time dining to avoid the pre-paid gratuities, thinking that you can easily switch to my-time when onboard the ship - there is very little flexibility to switch dining preferences once you are onboard. Too many unhappy people got stuck with 8:30pm dining. Ports of Call: Bermuda - Hands-down the best beaches (Orient Beach is the most highly-recommended). We really regretted not spending more time on the beach. Since it was our first port, we figured we would have lots of beach time in the other ports, but the other beaches simply cannot compare. Strongly recommend to make this your beach day and save your shopping, excursions, island tours for another port! St. Maarten and San Juan - Excellent for shopping! San Juan had a Coach Factory store, Polo Ralph Lauren, Victoria Secret, Dooney and Burke, Abercrombie, etc. Unless you plan to visit the rainforest, there is really no need to spend money on an excursion in San Juan because it is very much a walkable city with lots to see and buy - plus the city's shuttle is free! Labadee - We did the zipline and spent the rest of the day on the beach. Zipline was $95 per person and highly recommended, especially if you have never done it before. The beach was nice, but sand is extremely rocky (unlike the fine-grained sand found in Bermuda). Watershoes or at least rubber flipflops are necessary if you want to step foot into the water. Lots of people (ourselves included) rented the floating water mats for $14 - worth it because the water was very shallow so swimming was kind of difficult. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Having cruised for 35 years on a multitude of ships, I have seen the decline of the cruise experience first-hand. From the cheapening of the menu offerings to the boilerplate entertainment of second-rate comedians and under-rehearsed ... Read More
Having cruised for 35 years on a multitude of ships, I have seen the decline of the cruise experience first-hand. From the cheapening of the menu offerings to the boilerplate entertainment of second-rate comedians and under-rehearsed "broadway" revue type shows, to fewer and cheaper on-board activities and the relentless attempts to shake as much profit from such things as "premium" restaurants to art auctions I am sad to state that the "Bean-counters" have ruined what was once an elegant and memorable experience. And so on to the Explorer of the Seas. The Good, the Bad, and the downright Ugly. First, the food.The menu was repetitive and mediocre. The buffet offerings were often cold, unappetizing, and of poor quality. Many dishes left the impression of being leftovers. The grille offered cold hamburgers and low quality hot dogs. The salads ingredients were limited and in at least one case had an insect crawl out of a salad served at the evening meal. At the buffet, what was listed as ham was in fact pork, and what was later served as ham was tough and tasteless. The breakfast menu was generally good with a good variety of standard breakfast fare. Many of the pasta offerings were undercooked, and fillers like french fries were all too frequent. The desserts were repetitive and bland. Small cups of Jello, cookies, and glutenous mousse were found all too often. Was there a pastry chef on board? There was so little variety it was obvious that there was little attempt at creating tasty dessert offerings. The dinner menus were unexciting as well. All too often in an attempt to have at least a decent meal, one had to choose from a recurring nightly offering list or main entrees which varied in quality. With respect to the repeat menu items, the salmon was often dry and the strip steak was tough and unappetizing. The stewards were truly heroic in their attempts to satisfy. Kudos to them. The entertainment and on-board activities - The shows at the theater were well lit and the sound although often too loud for comfort were uneven. The singers in the production shows were good, but the dancers looked under-rehearsed. The choreography was routine and simple - dance moves that one could see at a local studio recital. The timing of some of the dancers was off beat and looked sloppy. The comedian was a second tier improv artist who used sound effects to get laughs. He was mildly amusing at times. The shows were often at an inconvenient time for late seating guests - 6:45 - not an optimum time to be entertained. The Ship - The Explorer is about 14 years old and looks it. Stains on the carpets, peeling paint on deck chairs and claustrophobic balconies which do not allow access to adjacent cabins. My wife and I were in a party of 6 and were not able to see or communicate with each other as we were able to on Princess. The balcony rail cut directly across one's sight line when seated in the chairs provided. The plexiglass safety panels were dirty and obstructed views. The pool areas were clean and open and offered a multitude of seating for poolside activities. The exercise spa was large, well-lit and equipped with a variety of machines as well as a hot tub spa. The on-board activities were limited. There were line dance classes and some non-complementary crafts, but more often there was trivia and little else. The library and card room provided some opportunities for quiet time and games like chess, checkers, and cards. I am distressed at the rush to "dummy down" the cruise experience so patrons don't have to dress for dinner. To me, one of the elegant things about a cruise is the chance to dress in a manner one would at a fine restaurant. There are too many casual nights and the two "formal" nights are, let's be honest, another chance for the photographers to take overpriced portraits. There used to be Captain's Table and strict dress codes. I've seen too many diners in jeans for formal night. Whatever happened to good manners? I can dine with people in jeans at Burger King. Where's the enchantment in that? And now, the truly ugly - The medical staff. On the second day of the cruise I had the distinct misfortune to visit the medical facility for dehydration. I was treated with rudeness bordering on contempt. The nurse in charge was dismissive and condescending and spoke to my wife - a brilliant former teacher - in a voice and comportment one might use to a naughty child. The doctor was argumentative - I tried to tell her what I needed to feel better yet she gave me a cursory exam with no confirming diagnosis, an unnecessary EKG, blood tests, and then she disappeared to a "meeting" so I was informed. I never saw her again. After 5 days I received a bill which overcharged me by $170 which included a procedure I did not have and a charge for a second EKG which the nurse later claimed was administered 2 hours before I went to the medical center in the first place. Unprofessional, unethical, sloppy records, and improper billing. These megaships being built are really floating theme parks not cruise ships. When I think of what the experience used to be like, it makes me less likely I'll ever take another cruise. The thrill is gone. The new philosophy of milking every last dime out of the passengers is the last straw. Now, if I want a decent meal, I have to buy it at 25 or 30 dollars per person. I can do that on land! A tour of the galley costs, cover charges, overpriced excursions all with the goal of fleecing the uninitiated first-time cruiser. Shame! I remember the days when you had midnight buffets, theme nights, seven course dinners, dessert trays, elegant room service, and on and on. Those days, alas are gone. Thank the "Bean Counters". Even the chocolate on the pillow at evening has been discontinued. Were they that costly? Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Airport to port: the four of us took a taxi van which cost us $50.00 + $5.00 tolls + tip. Cruise Port: Poorly organized. The shuttle to the ship does not start until 11:30 and not before. Room: Our family had rooms next to each other. ... Read More
Airport to port: the four of us took a taxi van which cost us $50.00 + $5.00 tolls + tip. Cruise Port: Poorly organized. The shuttle to the ship does not start until 11:30 and not before. Room: Our family had rooms next to each other. Upon opening room 1339 (10th floor), the smell was so bad it was uninhabitable. We were told to wait until 5:00 to find out if there were any available rooms. One was available on the 8th floor at the back of the ship. There were no other options. Dining: Dining room was good but not excellent. Service was slow but that can be expected when serving so many. We enjoyed the windjammer instead. It’s true they served almost the same food every day, but it was great food and many selections. Love the different food stations. Much better than Carnival. Carnival has you always in a food line and if you want seconds, back to the line you go. Bermuda: City bus transportation is available when you get off the ship. We used one token each ($7.00 ea.) to get to Church Bay. We love to snorkel, but water was too rough but would be a great place if calmer. Puerto Rico: We did the rain forest excursion. Expect to travel a good hour in an air conditioned comfortable bus. First stop is walking a short trail, second stop is the information center and third stop is a waterfall next to the road. But if we could do it again, we would tour old San Juan on our own and tour the forts and historical spots. St. Maarten: Just did the beach at the ship port. Labadee: There is a free tram to take you to the different beaches. Upon arriving at Columbus Cove, we were greeted by a man that insisted that he set up our beach chairs (for a tip). Be just as insistent and tell them you will get your own. We were the only ship docked and obtaining free chairs was no problem. But if there are more ships docked, it could be very crowded. Since we were the only ship docked there were only two stations set up for lunch. Leigh & Erky (cruise directors) were a highlight of the cruise. Very funny and truly seem to enjoy their jobs. Disembark: Absolutely terrible. Not organized at all. Our suggestion is to just take your time and don’t be in any kind of hurry. Once you’re off the ship, customs is no problem. Shuttles are available to take you to the airport for $16.00 ea., but they don’t leave until they’re full. The Oasis spoiled us last year. But the Explorer did offer the best ports we have visited.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was my second cruise on the Explorer. I cruised again because the first one was wonderful, well this one was better. The ship's royal promenade is the perfect addition to a cruise ship. Starbuck's/ Ben and Jerry's at ... Read More
This was my second cruise on the Explorer. I cruised again because the first one was wonderful, well this one was better. The ship's royal promenade is the perfect addition to a cruise ship. Starbuck's/ Ben and Jerry's at the same counter-perfection- Great snacks like pizza and little sandwichs totally fresh no matter what time of night. Cute little shops to stroll around. And that is only for when I want to do nothing. There is an activity from 7am to after midnight. This cruise I found myself attending just about every event, mostly because the cruise director Leigh and the activities director Erky from Turkey are hilarious, I just wanted to be at whatever event they were running. I cannot say enough about the staff on the ship. The Starbucks barista's made a perfect cappucino EVERYTIME, even my local Starbucks doesnt.! The ladies in the buffet "washy washy" always fun and entertaining as they dispense hand sanitizer. My room attendant and waiters were a joy to be around. I am told that the Explorer will not be at Bayonne anymore and that makes me sad, However, I booked my next cruise on the Quantum of The Seas while still onbaord because my experience was so wonderful I am sure it will continue on the new ship. The room was quite comfortable,being one flight abouve the promenade I got coffe at 6am and sat on the balcony every morning to watch the sun rise. One morning I watched a rainbow form and stretch across the sky it was spectacular. The bathroom had room for all the personal items I brought and I liked the shower. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was our third sailing on the Explorer, the last being about 7 years ago. While still a very nice looking ship, it is showing its age and is in real need of the overhaul it's receiving next year. We were in a cabin on deck 8, ... Read More
This was our third sailing on the Explorer, the last being about 7 years ago. While still a very nice looking ship, it is showing its age and is in real need of the overhaul it's receiving next year. We were in a cabin on deck 8, outside with a balcony. The room is a bit faded and dated ( old box tv, no internet in the room) and the balcony is in pretty rough shape, rusty and unappealing. Still, the room was very clean, the bed and pillows were comfortable, nice shower with bump out doors so it's roomy. No amenities at all, just a bar of soap. The food is not as good as it's been in the past ( we've been on Royal many times over about 25 years). Dinner was good with a decent variety every night. Always included a fish and a meat dish, but otherwise some pretty unimaginative stews and boring pasta. Breakfast and lunch in the dining room if you can do those limited hours was delicious with a great selection and well prepared. Now we come to the Windjammer. Sorry to say it was pretty bad most of the time. Very strange offerings and the worst baked good desserts we've ever had on a cruise. Crowded, loud, never enough seats. We tried hard to stay out of there. Truthfully, other than the oatmeal and the fresh fruit, there's not much to brag about. The coffee is terrible. The bread was cold and sometimes hard. Do yourself a big favor and eat in the Dining Room if you can and if it's open. The Café Promenade on Deck 5 is great. Green Mountain Coffee. Really delicious sandwiches unlike anything in the Windjammer.. Freshly baked muffins and granola bars and brownies. Tasty pizza. Open 24 hours. I ate several lunches down there rather than face the Windjammer. Did I mention how bad the Windjammer is? Entertainment was pretty good. There are 3 production numbers , all a variation of other production numbers we've seen before , but the talent was excellent and the productions were well done. Leigh,the cruise director was fun and funny, as was Erky from Turkey, the activities director. Port days were fine, no lines or crowds getting off the ship as they no longer need to tender. Labadee is a gem, and we were lucky enough to get a picture perfect day. Clean, plenty of chairs and a decent barbeque lunch with lots of seating. It's grown since we were last there and now they have zip lines and water parks and etc, but we just enjoyed the sun and the relaxing day. Overall , a good vacation , very relaxing. We had a great cabin steward who went over and above, and our waiter Saudi was wonderful and attentive. They could use more help aboard the ship. No one in the computer room ever to answer questions or help. Generally not enough help around the ship. We are used to Celebrity and their staff who can't do enough for you. They don't have enough interesting activities, and many are driven by services they offer ( how to look younger will have you spending $$ in the spa or on Botox treatments, etc.) and napkin folding should have been replaced years ago. They did have a beading class ($) and a scrapbooking class ($), and of course Bingo and line dancing, but other lines have upgraded the options. I was part of a Flash Mob on the Allure, and the promenade would have been perfect for that. Of course the draw here ( for NJ, NY, and PA ) is being able to drive to the ship, and when the newer ships come in it will be a great experience again. The Quantum will have a limited run, followed by the Liberty next year and then the Anthem which will be amazing to have out of Bayonne. Enjoy the Explorer, but don't go with the expectation that you will be dazzled. It isn't glitzy or new, but your vacation is what you make of it. Enjoy the things you like and avoid the things you don't ( and by now you know I mean the Windjammer). Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I just returned today from the 9 day Caribbean cruise with my 2 teenagers age 18, along with my daughter's friend, age 19. We had an interior cabin for the girls, and a balcony cabin for my son and I, all on Deck 8. We have done this ... Read More
I just returned today from the 9 day Caribbean cruise with my 2 teenagers age 18, along with my daughter's friend, age 19. We had an interior cabin for the girls, and a balcony cabin for my son and I, all on Deck 8. We have done this cruise twice before, with the exact itinerary 2 years ago. We cruise about every other year, so this is our 3rd cruise, all with RC, all on Explorer of the Seas. First, I will tell you the ship is in great shape, although worn in a few places, such as stained carpet, for the most part she is a beautiful vessel, and the staff works hard to keep her clean. Although we saw some worn areas, we never saw dirty areas. Personal hygiene was stressed daily and there were plenty of hand sanitizing stations around the ship. Our cabin steward learned quickly that I was not on the same schedule as 3 teenagers, and made it work for cleaning our cabins. He was personable, friendly and always let us know what was going on the next day. Second- the dining room staff. While they were very attentive, I feel that they are much more overworked than our last 2 cruises. These guys were constantly running, and one of the things that made our last cruises so special was the feeling that the waiters had time to talk to you. I felt like they had no time at all to just make small talk with the passengers, but the service was excellent. Of particular note was the bar staff in the main dining room. I had the beverage package and the first night was served a so-so Cabernet. The second night I asked to see a wine list and they served me an excellent wine selection from that night on. I didn't have to ask, the bar server just knew what I liked and brought it over. On a rating of 1-10 for their service, I give a 10, but boy do they look over worked. Third- food quality. I traveled with 3 teenagers, so their idea of good food is anything that isn't prepared by their college cafeteria. I would say the food quality was good to fair , with some of the appetizers dry and cold, but the entrees are decent. Everyone enjoyed the deserts. The Windjammer was ok, I found the eggs cold on more than 1 occasion, but could build a decent salad at lunch time. You will wait forever for coffee to be brought to you, so just go get your own. The omelets made to order were a big hit, and they make egg white as well as regular. Café Promenade was always popular and the coffee was always brewing. Fourth- Entertainment. This cruise had the Bon Jovi tribute band, Blaze of Glory, perform Saturday night. they were great and if you ever have the chance to see them on a cruise, do so! I like this type of entertainment, and we thoroughly enjoyed the show. the band played an acoustic show the following day, which was well attended, and just as good. The band was mingling with the passengers, stopped for pictures, and very down to earth. They were happy to be performing on the ship, and we were happy to have them. We also saw Puck, a magician from "America's got talent" which I don't watch. He was also very good. They standard shows such as "Love and Marriage" and "the Quest" were also fun. the Cruise Director is Leigh, who is very funny and likes pushing things to the limit. I will say that on this cruise, there was a family that brought 3 very young children into The Quest, a 3 year old and two children that appeared to be under the age of 7. Hats off to the staff for telling the parents this was an adults only activity and the kids had to leave. On the other hand, there was a 13 year old girl attending, and they left it up to her parents. Fifth- the ports. Here is where I have my greatest dissatisfaction. I sailed this exact itinerary 2 years ago, and St. Maarten was a full day. Now, it is half day, from 1pm- 8pm. What you don't realize is that 1pm arrival time translates to 1:30 disembarkation time. So by the time we got 3,000 plus passengers off the ship, it was close to 2pm. We took a taxi to Orient Beach, and found that most of the beachfront businesses renting chairs close at 5pm. We stayed until 5:30, but you are spending $70 round trip in a taxi, plus chair rental for approximately 3 hours. The last time we were in St. Maarten, a local shop owner told us the downtown area is not safe after the shops close and the police leave the area at 6pm, so the question is , what do you do for 2-3 hours before the ship leaves?? You are stuck in the dock area, or on a Royal Caribbean excursion. Puerto Rico- Again you are here half a day, arriving at 7am when most shops, or sight seeing sites don't open until 9 or 10 am, and have an on board at 1:30pm. There is nothing to do unless you take an RC excursion once again. We wanted to go to the Baccardi Factory on our own, but found the ferry wasn't running early enough for us to do the tour an everything else we wanted to do in San Juan. again, a very disappointing port stay. Labadee- We have been to this port once before. Let me begin with the fact that we disembarked 15 minutes late. That may not seem like much but when you have a 9am zipline time, and aren't allowed to get off the ship until 9:15- after having a day and a half to travel from Puerto Rico to Haiti, it just starts the day off late. The kids got to do their zipline, which they loved and we headed to Columbus Beach. When lunch time came around and we were looking for food in the Columbus Beach area, we were informed that no lunch was to be served there- that we had to go to Nelly's Beach. Had we known this beforehand, we would have planned better. The lines at Nelly's were terrible, plus, there wasn't enough room for everyone to sit and eat. This was a bad decision for Royal Caribbean to make. You either had to take a tram to the food area, or walk through the market with the overly aggressive locals trying to sell you stuff. Speaking of the locals, RC employs them for many functions on the resort. I really don't like how they expect tips for everything, and will aggressively pursue you to do activities, such as take pictures for you as long as you tip them. It is a complete turnoff to me. The beverage/bar area at Columbus Beach ran out of supplies by 2pm and closed, leaving the area without a source of any kind of beverage- water, soda or alcohol. Being that we didn't have to be on board the ship until 3:30, my expectation is that more supplies from the ship be brought out when they started to run low, and to not close completely 1 1/2 hours before you needed to be back on ship. Overall- would I travel with RC again- possibly depending on port schedule. Would I do this itinerary again- absolutely not unless they change the port times. I personally don't like Labadee and prefer Coco Cay much better due to the aggressive market area and tipping expectations. I smiled at the band was immediately hit with a pitch to buy their CD. This is not what I want on vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Cruise 8th to 17th May  Having been cruising for 12 years I have seen the steady decline in that time of the offerings on cruise ships. Gone are the after dinner mints, the bedtime chocolate and the first class entertainment. Bayonne, ... Read More
Cruise 8th to 17th May  Having been cruising for 12 years I have seen the steady decline in that time of the offerings on cruise ships. Gone are the after dinner mints, the bedtime chocolate and the first class entertainment. Bayonne, New Jersey: The cruise terminal is under construction so embark/disembark occurs thru the old wharf sheds. Peak time is between 1100 and 1300 so try to avoid arriving between these times. We joined the vehicle queue at 1120 and arrived at our cabin at 1320. I think everybody arrived at the same time. By 1330 all of the cars had gone and the process was a lot easier. The Ports: Kings Wharf, Bermuda; Fantastic port, clean and friendly people. Philipsburg, St. Maarten: Half a day in port and it rained so we didn’t get to see much. The entry back on to the ship was very disjointed and I’m sure that the security staff slowed down the process so that we were in the rain longer. San Juan, Puerto Rico; Another great port but an early departure so again sight seeing is very limited. Labadee, Haiti; An RC owned peninsula. It’s nice but really it offers the same as what’s on the ship. It takes 30 minutes to walk the whole area and look around and then you just relax at Columbus Cove and have a swim. There are way too many vendors at the market stalls and they all sell exactly the same stuff. Entertainment: The most entertaining thing on this ship is the Cruise director Leigh and his offsider Erky from Turkey. The production shows in the theatre were good but not excellent. The spectacular ice show was terrific and is not to be missed. The headliner magician, singer and comedian were pathetic and poor old Bobby Arvon really needs to retire, he never hit the note all night and I was embarrassed by his performance. However, there was a BonJovi Tribute band one night - Blaze of Glory. They were good! But really is a cruise ship the place for this type of act? My wife and I are dancers. In reality there are no dance floors on board that are used for dancing. So for us the lounges on this ship are misused. We spent most nights in the Aquarium bar with the Philippine Band. They were fantastic and one of the best bands at sea. But the dance floor is a small tiled area in front of the aquarium to the side of the band and it holds four couples comfortably. Bear in mind there are 3000 on board. Studio B is the ice skating ring. It is cold and damp as you would expect. The Ice skating show is fantastic so don’t miss it. But the other night time events that are held here are just miserable. The floor that slides across the ice is always wet. The chamber is next to Studio B so it also feels very damp in places. Dizzy’s Bar “Turns into a lively dance club by night” No it doesn't! There is room for two couples to dance and everybody else watches or dances between tables – what a joke. The Latin band that played here didn't know what dance music was and couldn't tell the difference between a Samba and a Tango. Maharajahs Lounge “Live music, dancing and entertainment” Most nights this area is used for karaoke and not used for dancing. If only the staff would move the karaoke up to Dizzy’s and have the dance band in this lounge. Casino: I’m not a gambler and not a smoker so my biggest bugbear with this place is there is no clear straight walkway to get from one side to the other. Of course the non smoking side was also full of smokers. The ship herself is very nice. She is showing signs of wear and tear, so there are stains on carpets and lounges. Her best feature is the promenade. It can be quite noisy and is frequently cluttered with market tables but still a nice feature. Room: We had a promenade view room on the 8th floor. We did get a bit of noise from the promenade but it didn't affect our sleep. Peek a boo bridge overlook is a great spot to view the charts to see where you are and how close the reefs are. You can also see the ship doing its thing with the crew standing around. Solarium: It’s not actually a solarium at all. It’s another outdoor pool and you get very wet when it rains. The Food: I was pretty impressed with the food on board. We ate in the main dining room and had great dining partners. Our wait staff were fantastic and very entertaining. I was happy with all of the menus and food quality. Even the food at the Windjammer was pretty good. The one time I complained about the eggs being cold the staff immediately cooked fresh for me and removed the remainder from that tray.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
With 27 members of our family alongside, our cruise on the Explorer of the Seas had to be the most disappointing family cruise ever. And we have done many. As avid cruisers (more then 50 cruises for me and my wife) we expected a certain ... Read More
With 27 members of our family alongside, our cruise on the Explorer of the Seas had to be the most disappointing family cruise ever. And we have done many. As avid cruisers (more then 50 cruises for me and my wife) we expected a certain level of quality of food, entertainment, service and hospitality. All fell well short. Can you imagine having turkey served TWICE in nine days on what should be a elegant cruise line? Believe it! The "daily steak" on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line menu was the same as the "steak and cheese" sandwich delivered by room service. The quality for a sandwich was good. The quality for a fine dinner was dismal. Clearly the cruise line promotes their guest to buy drink packages. It was also clear that once the packages were purchased the bar staff and open bars were difficult to find. While the famous "midnight buffets" are a thing of the past the Explorer of the Seas now provides only a Cafe to provide the late night snacks for thousands of passengers. Not a level of service one expects from a cruise line. The singers and dancers provided POOR performances at best. There were headliner magician, singer and comedian who were very good but the company that sails daily with the ship were terrible. Harsh but true. The cruise director and activity director were great and their staff were fun. Unfortunately, they couldn't make up for the shortcomings of off-off-off-off broadway level singers and dancers. The buffet was marginal at best for dinner and lunch. The breakfast, both buffet and sit down restaurant were cold and uninviting. For breakfast in the dinning room one day we had 6 of us. We were paired with another couple and expressed surprise to the hostess seating us. He comment was "well you should have asked for a table for just you." Some customer satisfaction driven crew might have offered a more empathetic tone and who knows maybe accommodated their "guest" with a table for six. The bottom line we will most likely avoid Royal Caribbean Cruises going forward. Additionally, we will strongly discourage others to sail with them. Norwegian Cruises clearly offer superior cruises, entertainment, food and services for more reasonable fares in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Left on a Thursday out of Bayonne - very easy embarkation. I love this port. It is only 45 mins from my house so we drive and leave the car in the lot. Never had a problem. Since this was the only ship leaving that day, the crowds ... Read More
Left on a Thursday out of Bayonne - very easy embarkation. I love this port. It is only 45 mins from my house so we drive and leave the car in the lot. Never had a problem. Since this was the only ship leaving that day, the crowds weren't bad and we were on the ship by 11:30. This was our 2nd time on this ship and I will am sad that she will be leaving the Bayonne Port. The ship is so pretty and just the right size. Our cabin was a D1 Aft Balcony cabin. This cabin was so big!...and the balcony was huge. Two chairs, two lounge chairs and a table! Not seen very often on cruise ships. This room was just as big as a mini suite, but we paid the price of a Balcony. Since it is an Aft balcony, the walk from the elevator was a bit far, but it didn't bother us too much. With all the room in the cabin, it more than made up for it. The food in the dining room was outstanding. We had "my time" dining and made reservations before we boarded. Never had to to wait. We were seated with the same waiter - Gopa - and he was great! The entertainment was so-so. After the 1st show, we didn't mind if we missed any of the other shows :) However, there was a BonJovi Tribute band one night - Blaze of Glory. OMG, they were AMAZING! They also played an acoustic session one day and that was standing room only. Unfortunately they didn't give more shows - I would have went every night. Our room steward, Devon, was so friendly, as was most of the staff. Washy-Washy lady was a big hit by the end of the cruise! As for the pool area, we liked staying in the "solarium". It wasn't as noisy as the main pool area and we didnt' have trouble getting chairs. Disembarkation was just annoying - waiting around as on every other line. No major problems though. We had a fabulous time on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
The port is nice to travel from but alittle unorganized. Got on the ship and found the wind jammer packed with very seat taken. Since I cruised on the larger ships ( allure and oasis) for the passed few years, this ship seemed to be small ... Read More
The port is nice to travel from but alittle unorganized. Got on the ship and found the wind jammer packed with very seat taken. Since I cruised on the larger ships ( allure and oasis) for the passed few years, this ship seemed to be small and actually less crowd organized. They can learn something from the larger ship. The crew did work hard to make the cruise enjoyable but I think it's hard since all are stuck in the ship and not at the pools to ease some of the crowds. The food and services on board was very good even through the head waiter didn't have much of personality. The first two days were cold so everyone was stuck inside and crammed into the promenade all the time. The events on board could have been ordered better to spread the people more. Seemed like we always was in crowds on this ship. Got to Bermuda and it was alittle cold still but Bermuda is always nice. What a great island. Got back from the aquarium and it poured so not much to do but shop inside the mall. The next day was, you guessed it, travel day again. Lol finally got to St. marrten and the real vacation started, we thought! We went to the beach but it was totally cloudy all day but Waikiki beach was excellent( food & beach). Got back to the ship and found this new ( Half day) ports that RCCL does now really sux! This is the real complaint I have. Why do this to your cruisers! This 5:30 pm dinner instead of 6pm makes the half day even worst!.. The cruisers told the captain this, LOUD AND CLEAR at the special event they had for frequent cruisers. Next stop was Puerto Rico. Did the rain forest excursion ( excellent) but the half day port cut into the shopping again! Finally we arrived into labadee Haiti, now we have a full day and why is this a full day? Not much to do here even though it was nice here! Because they don't pay as much, its there island! Now we have two days to travel back to Bayonne! One of these was worth going to the pool! Arrived in Bayonne and getting of the ship was not too bad. So, I think Iam going to stick to the larger ships out of Florida and get a real warm and non crowded cruise. B.t.w. The ship is old but not as bad shape as a lot said it was! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Background: this was our 8th cruise and 7th on RCCL. We had been on this same agenda on 2006 and enjoyed it. We did this due to spring break time and proximity to the port. Long drive to Florida! Positives: Arrival / parking / ... Read More
Background: this was our 8th cruise and 7th on RCCL. We had been on this same agenda on 2006 and enjoyed it. We did this due to spring break time and proximity to the port. Long drive to Florida! Positives: Arrival / parking / Embarkation: We drove to the port and parked easily. Checkin was fine with some wait that we expected. We were at the parking at 1030 and on the ship for lunch at 1145 Cabins: We said adjoining balconies (1 for us, 1 for teenage children). The cabins were cleaned and well attended. Our cabin steward was very efficient and surprisingly quiet. Usually by the 2nd day you know their life stories and family history etc.. He just seemed to keep to himself, and do his job very well. Since we had MyTime we has pre-paid gratuities but we gave him an additional "Wow" envelope as well. Food / Drink: I know this is a non-concensus opinion, but we were fine with the food overall. Of course there are better restaurants and higher end specialities.. but given that they are feeding 10000+ meals a day we thought they did a nice job with quality and variety. True the food at the Windjammer (buffet) is pretty much the same day in day out, but there are so many options that one should be able to find something. We enjoyed the custom omelets. For dinner we ate in the MyTIme dining area each night. The menu including winners and losers but we never left hungry. There was one night that we got 4 appetizers and split an entrée... as nothing was jumping out at us. The server.. (despite MyTime we had the same one each night) ... was great... and offered to go off the menu for some semi-custom meals. I agree with other reviews that the food collectively isn't good, not great.. but certainly plenty. A mention too of the Cafe Promenade on deck 5 that has snacks and pizza ... the pizza was really good and the granola type things were excellent. We got the 7 bottle wine package which was about right. price was fair and we were happy with the selection. We didn't get it but met and hung out with a lot of people who got the all you drink packages and were very happy with them. Photographs: We splurged on the all you can take picture package. For $299 (pre cruise) we got 8x11 prints of every picture they took plus all of them on a disc as well. As they have multiple photo areas set up around the ship every night - plus getting on and off the ship at each port - we got to know the photogs pretty well. They were professional, creative and fun. We have all the usual formal night pics but also several more our to the box creative pictures. Each night we scanned the photo gallery for pictures. We ended up with about 300 pics!! Certainly worth the cost there. This is something that was the most pleasant surprise of the trip. Negatives: Weather: Weather wasn't great especially day 1. can you feel the boat moving!?!? You can't blame RCCL for the weather of the seas, but if you want a warm pool day the first day out.. don't cruise from Bayonne in April. You do basically lose 2 'pool days' going out and coming back. One would think that RCCL would know this and plan more on the sea days.. but it didn't seem that they did. Activities: it just seemed that there wasn't that much to do on the ship.. especially sea days. There were the usual cruise fare things like bingo and trivia and belly flop... but most of the time.. there seemed to be less going on. The belly flop contest is always a big hit.. I have to ask.. why not do it 2x? I would agree with another review that the actives staff was so-so. Nice enough but not overly enthusiastic at times. Smoking: Others have said this.. but as non-smokers.. there are 2 areas.. the casino... where the smoke whaffs up to the promenade and the pool. the entire side of the pool is designate for smoking (cigarettes, cigars etc) and it just blows all over the place. Not sure of a solution (move the smoking to a higher deck? but it just seemed to bother us and other non-smokers more than I can remember on past cruises. Crowds / Lines: it's spring break.. the ship is full... but it just seemed that (especially in the windjammer) that it was always crowded. not so much getting the food, but finding seats. Upside.. we met a lot of nice people asking to join them at unfilled tables. :) Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Completed a 9-night cruise aboard the Explorer with a total of 13 family members raining from 70+ to 9 years old during Easter break. We have taken other RC cruises and are Anchor members but this has to be one of the poorest experiences ... Read More
Completed a 9-night cruise aboard the Explorer with a total of 13 family members raining from 70+ to 9 years old during Easter break. We have taken other RC cruises and are Anchor members but this has to be one of the poorest experiences we have encountered at the highest prices we have ever paid. It started with the emergency drill with outdoor muster stations - in the cold. Usually they set muster stations on various inside locations so obviously nobody was prepared to stand outside for almost 45 mins in the cold. As a general point, remember that the ship cruises along at about 25 knots (about 20 mph) so two days going and two days coming we're just about lost as it was too cold and windy to do any outside activities. The ship is rundown and desperately needs to be refurbished. As you walk around the ship you can clearly see that paint is faded, wood trim is peeling and that it's just old. The interior is in much better condition than the exterior but still dated. Most of the staff was friendly, especially our dining room staff but generally you can see that the workers are tired. There was one lady running the audience participation dances by the pool that clearly did not want to be there and it showed in the faces of the guests that were participating. Also, was a bit surprised to be told by our room attendant that we "needed to give her a 10" on out post-cruise survey since RC doesn't we new work contracts for anyone who receives less than 10. Talk about a guilt trip. Dining options are certainly NOT as good as other RC, such as the Oasis. The buffet offered the same tired options everyday, absolutely no variety. The main dining room is usually our favorite but it was nothing better than what I would get at a retail restaurant chain such as Outback. The wait staff was great but understaffed and it showed. Let's be honest, people go on cruises to eat and the food overall (except for Johnny Rockets) was a disappointment. I would compare it to what you would get at a Cancun 3-star all inclusive. The stops were good. Too little time in San Juan but Labadee was excellent. Head to the beach by the water park where you have lots of space and the kids can enjoy. We took advantage (again) of the full photo package - $325 (with 1st day coupon) gets you all pics on CD and all printed photos. We went to every photo station multiple times and the photographers were wonderful. The entertainment was even worse than the food. For a cruise that leaves the NY area (where we have Broadway), the person who books these acts should be fired. One evening, they had the guy who had the theme song to the 1960's show Happy Days. We had to suffer through an hour show with a one-hit wonder from 50 years ago. Usually, cruises have a Broadway night, a Michael Jackson night or something close to Cirque de Soleil. Not on the Explorer! You get some guy who sang one song or three young actors who nobody knows. Really the worst. If you are like us, you consider taking a cruise out of Florida and think that it may be less expensive to leave out of NY. But, in Florida, there is more competition and the cruises fight to offer more for their customers. RC has sadly failed the Explorer and it's obvious in the presentation, exorbitant pricing and poor overall experience. If you really want a great time, go to the Oasis of the Seas out of Ft Lauderdale. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Well what can I say? I have never experienced a holiday like this before. I felt so looked after by the staff and nothing seemed to be too much trouble! We had an interior room which was a bit dark but otherwise very comfortable and very ... Read More
Well what can I say? I have never experienced a holiday like this before. I felt so looked after by the staff and nothing seemed to be too much trouble! We had an interior room which was a bit dark but otherwise very comfortable and very well attended by the staff. It was cleaned twice a day and each evening we were left a lovely little towel animal! Leaving Cape Liberty was a bit rocky but if you go sit in the middle of the ship you can handle it a bit better. The activities on board are great, something for everyone. The gym was great, had all the equipment you could need with an amazing view to boot! The food was excellent. We always had breakfast and lunch at the windjammer. Always lots of choice and the food was of excellent quality! We had evening dining in Magellan at the 8.30 seating. The food and service we received here was second to none!! Every night had a different menu with so many fantastic choices. If we were finding it particularly difficult to choose, we were brought all of our options!!! Our waiting staff, Marko and Wan were beyond amazing. They were friendly, funny and so attentative. I've never been to any restaurant where I received service as good as this! The Islands we visited were: Bermuda- not overly hot in April, but be careful, it can be decieving. We went to horseshoe bay which was beautiful. St Marteen: my favourite island by far. So gorgeous! We went to orient bay where we went jet skiing. It was so much fun. Lots of bars and huts for food here and the water was beautiful! San juan: went to the rainforest which was fantastic, but took most of the day so didn't get to see much of the island. We did have theee best sangria here however!! Labadee: Beautiful island owned by royal caribbean. really well kept, lovely beaches and lots of fun activities. We did the zipwire here which was fantastic if not a bit timeconsuming considering it only lasts 45 seconds. All in all, the cruise left me relaxed, happy and maybe a tad fatter but I would definitely recommend it to a friend! I personally would have liked more time at St Marteen and Labadee but you can't have everything!!! Awesome time had by myself and the hubby!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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