I just returned from the Explorer after a 7 day Bahamas cruise. Here are my thoughts.
Day One: Port Liberty is more or less the same as the Florida terminals. Organized chaos, but everyone knows their job. It works. Arrived around 11:00 am and were on board by 11:30. This was with a party of 10! The bus ride to the ship is really a very small inconvenience. The weather was raining and chilly, so ALL passengers were indoors. The Windjammer was beyond capacity so go there immediately if the weather is iffy. We hustled down to Deck 5 and managed to snag a table for all of us at the Café Promenade. The cabins opened promptly at 1:30, and with the exception of one bag from our group, the luggage had arrived shortly thereafter. Muster took place in a chilly rain. Afterward we ran up to the Viking Lounge. It was as crowded as the Windjammer. Because of the weather, the whole ship went there to go under the Verrazano Bridge. It was woefully understaffed for this many people, but it gradually improved and all was good.
Day Two: Day at Sea. Very windy. Pools closed. Deck 12 off limits. Ice Skating show cancelled. Sea sick bags were hanging on railings, but I never saw anyone actually ill, just having trouble walking. I did see someone stuff cookies into one of the sea bags for later! It was a little tough taking a shower. By chance we ended up that afternoon at an informal military veterans get together hosted by the HR officer Mark Sette at the Schooner Bar. It was incredibly moving. The services were well represented with veterans going back to World War II. Some people were still active, and some were proud parents of children currently serving their country. Each and every one introduced their selves and each received a round of applause. We are not veterans. In fact, we showed up early at the Schooner to read while waiting an hour for trivia (remember, the weather was bad outside). I will never miss such a gathering aboard again.