Explorer of the Seas - Western Caribbean: Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by twice_a_year

Explorer of the Seas 5
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Explorer of the Seas - Western Caribbean

Sail Date: February 2006
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
Explorer of the Seas  Western Caribbean Sailing out of Miami on February 26, 2006

RCI transfer airport to dock  Some confusion existed among the greeting staff. We were welcomed by one person and instructed to wait at a specific location to await further instruction. After waiting for almost twenty minutes  I went to an official looking person and inquired about the wait. I was informed that the bus just left and we werent included because she did not know we were waiting. I pointed out the person who told us to wait where we were and she said that that person failed to notify us. All in all we had to wait another forty minutes before we boarded a bus. This was just a careless mistaken communication that should have never happened.

At the embarkation  Everything went smooth. The online registration appeared to work well.

Boarding the ship  No one greets you as you enter. Being an experienced cruiser and a repeat customer on this ship afforded me More the knowledge to easily adapt to life on board. I would suspect a first time cruiser would have been overwhelmed.

Room 7390  This room is located at the rear of the ship. There are some discomforts associated with the location that a less seasoned traveler might prefer a more center location. However, the gain with the larger balcony more than compensated for the vibrations. The room and bathroom were enough to handle us with no problem. (No excess here.)

Room attendant  Courtesy and efficiency were his attributes. Everything was handled in good order and he always had time for the little extras. He always had our towel animals there to greet us when we returned to settle in for the night. This was a five star service.

Meet n Mingle - RCI provides a top-notch Meet N Mingle reception. Great canapEs and soft drinks were proved and hosted by the Social Director. Very nicely done with great prizes.

Common areas - There were excessive sanitization efforts to control an outbreak of the norovirus. Many of the staff members were busily performing disinfectant procedures to curtail the spread of the disease. This might have lead to the lack of attention to the pickup of dirty dishes left in the common areas.

Norvirus Neither myself nor my wife were affected the disease but those that we spoke to were satisfied by the medical attention that they received. Of course, there were some other problems that spoiled what should have been a delightful experience but overall most felt that the ship treated them well and were pleased that the ship forgave the medical bill and gave them a credit for future cruises. There are two suggestions being offered to the cruise lines. 1) Let the official notification of the existence of the virus be issued much earlier rather than letting the rumors fly. (The rumor had over 1000 people infected versus the actual number under 300).

2) Those hand sanitizers should ALWAYS be there.

Room service  We experienced a failure to collect our Request for Service Card and we did not receive the coffee that I had ordered the night before. I phoned Room Service and they sent up my coffee within 5 minutes. Later that day they sent an apology note and some chocolate covered strawberries to our room. This was unexpected, unnecessary but very much appreciated.

Dinning staff  They were excellent both at our regular table and for the open seating.

Food  The canapEs at the Meet N Mingle and the hors d'oeuvres at the reception parties were great! The deserts were excellent. But, sorry to say, the dinning room meals were just O.K. and the Windjammer was not very good. Johnny Rockets food was better.

Portofino  Food great, service excellent and deserts were out of this world. Well worth the additional cost.

Casino  Almost all dealers were very personable as they took your money. Better than most cruises. At least they smiled doing their job.

Itinerary - The ports (Belize, Costa Mayo, Cozumel and Grand Cayman) are not the best ports. The tender service at three of them left a lot to be desired.

Ship activities  NO HORSE RACE. I was most disappointed. I planned on buying a horse. Everything else was just run of the mill. Shutting down the hot tubs in the Solarium forced us to share the tubs by the pool with the kids. (Not what I consider very desirable)

Entertainment  Great, great and better. Very, very, very good job here!!!!!

Overall I would recommend this ship to family groups. Save the smaller ships for the older crowd. Less

Published 04/03/06

Cabin review: E17390 Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

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