The atmosphere on the MV Explorer is friendly with many passengers either repeat travelers, parents of students of Semester at Sea or in some instances Semester at Sea alumnis. From the first day there was a real sense of community and inclusiveness. I travelled solo and I was delighted how many others did the same. It was pretty effortless to meet fellow passengers and they were an interesting and diverse mix.
Our Panama Canal itinerary was Nassau to San Diego with stops in Dominican Republic, Costa Rico, Guatemala, Puerto Vallarta, and Ensenada. Due to potentially dangerous tendering conditions, the port of Ensenada was visited instead of Cabo San Lucas.
Embarking the MV Explorer - the airport taxi had to let me off a short distance from the boarding area and so it was necessary to handle all my luggage for a distance. The start time of embarkation didn’t start any earlier than communicated. There was some confusion among passengers whether they were actually on the right line to board the MV Explorer, as the line was outside the terminal building and there were no signs at the end of the line. I arrived a half hour ahead of boarding time and my total wait with all my luggage was around an hour once boarding began. On the positive side, during my wait I really got to know the passengers near me and I enjoyed seeing them again on the ship and in the ports.