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We were supposed to go to Bermuda on Explorer on 18 October. We were not notified by RCI or our travel agent at all that the itinerary had changed due to Hurricane Gonzalo which hit Bermuda a day prior to our set arrival. Thank goodness we called our travel agent at 10pm the night before to confirm that we were good to go because otherwise we would not have known about he change! We were able to completely change our attire/packing to accomodate the tundra that was Canada. (brrrrr) There were people on the cruise who had not gotten notification at all and they were not happy OR prepared for chilly temps. RC's compensation was unfair, if you ask me. We were given a $250 room credit if we chose to sail. If we chose NOT to sail, we would only be given 25% of our paid price to apply to a future cruise. We would have gladly accepted 100% OR even 75% of our paid price to apply to a future cruise with RC. Bottom line was that the boat still needed to sail. We were disappointed (as was EVERYONE onboard), but we decided that the compensation was not good enough to stay home. Our friends had purchased trip insurance, but it did not cover this situation. So, Bermuda remains on our bucket list. Off to Canada we went.... I knew going into port in Bayonne to expect construction, traffic and congestion. The process was pretty smooth overall and pretty well organized. No complaints. At the end of the cruise we chose to express check out which means we carried our own luggage of the ship. This allowed up to leave earlier. The lines were long and people were angry. But somehow we made it through in under an hour. All that said, Overall, our experience on the boat was great! The food (in the main dining room) was great and the staff was pretty great too. There were a few grumps in the group, but no one worth complaining about. Hey, I figure THEY were just as disappointed as we were that we were heading to Canada. The waitstaff and the bar tenders were great and everyone seemed very friendly social. Food in the WindJammer wasn't awful, but but it seemed (to me) like the same selection day after day, so after the 2nd day I was looking for other options. We chose MyTime Dining which was great because we could eat when we wanted to and were lucky enough to have the same waiters each night. Our assistant waiter was the Washy Washy guy (Nestor) and we enjoyed him very much. The selection on the menu each night was good and the portions sizes were small, so I never felt guilty ordering 2. Also, the food came out rather quickly which we were please about. Our cabin steward was rarely seen. He kept our room clean and followed through with all requests. The room showed a few signs of wear, but nothing that was worth complaining about- especially knowing that Explorer will be dry docking in the spring for a complete overhaul. The common areas were very nice and always clean and the Promenade actually looked the more up to date than the rest of the ship. I used the fitness center daily, and I think it was a great space. It was never too crowded and there was plenty of equipment. And finally the entertainment.... it was AWESOME! The shows were really outstanding. The singers and the dancers were great! We got to see the Bon Jovi tribute band Blaze of Glory and they were awesome too! The finale comedy show with Steve Shafer at the end was really great too. The Quest game show was hysterical and not to be missed. For me, the entertainment was really the best experience of the entire trip. Are we still disappointed that we didn't make it to Bermuda? Yes. Do we feel like RC's compensation was fair? Not really. But we did have a good time regardless and we made the best of the situation. We will definitely continue to sail with RC and we are already looking into booking Liberty or Freedom this Spring- never during hurricane season EVER again!  

Made the best of a bad situation.

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by michtrif

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2014
  • Destination: Bermuda
We were supposed to go to Bermuda on Explorer on 18 October. We were not notified by RCI or our travel agent at all that the itinerary had changed due to Hurricane Gonzalo which hit Bermuda a day prior to our set arrival. Thank goodness we called our travel agent at 10pm the night before to confirm that we were good to go because otherwise we would not have known about he change! We were able to completely change our attire/packing to accomodate the tundra that was Canada. (brrrrr) There were people on the cruise who had not gotten notification at all and they were not happy OR prepared for chilly temps.
RC's compensation was unfair, if you ask me. We were given a $250 room credit if we chose to sail. If we chose NOT to sail, we would only be given 25% of our paid price to apply to a future cruise. We would have gladly accepted 100% OR even 75% of our paid price to apply to a future cruise with RC. Bottom line was that the boat still needed to sail. We were disappointed (as was EVERYONE onboard), but we decided that the compensation was not good enough to stay home. Our friends had purchased trip insurance, but it did not cover this situation. So, Bermuda remains on our bucket list. Off to Canada we went....
I knew going into port in Bayonne to expect construction, traffic and congestion. The process was pretty smooth overall and pretty well organized. No complaints.
At the end of the cruise we chose to express check out which means we carried our own luggage of the ship. This allowed up to leave earlier. The lines were long and people were angry. But somehow we made it through in under an hour.
All that said,
Overall, our experience on the boat was great! The food (in the main dining room) was great and the staff was pretty great too. There were a few grumps in the group, but no one worth complaining about. Hey, I figure THEY were just as disappointed as we were that we were heading to Canada. The waitstaff and the bar tenders were great and everyone seemed very friendly social.
Food in the WindJammer wasn't awful, but but it seemed (to me) like the same selection day after day, so after the 2nd day I was looking for other options.
We chose MyTime Dining which was great because we could eat when we wanted to and were lucky enough to have the same waiters each night. Our assistant waiter was the Washy Washy guy (Nestor) and we enjoyed him very much. The selection on the menu each night was good and the portions sizes were small, so I never felt guilty ordering 2. Also, the food came out rather quickly which we were please about.
Our cabin steward was rarely seen. He kept our room clean and followed through with all requests. The room showed a few signs of wear, but nothing that was worth complaining about- especially knowing that Explorer will be dry docking in the spring for a complete overhaul. The common areas were very nice and always clean and the Promenade actually looked the more up to date than the rest of the ship.
I used the fitness center daily, and I think it was a great space. It was never too crowded and there was plenty of equipment.
And finally the entertainment.... it was AWESOME! The shows were really outstanding. The singers and the dancers were great! We got to see the Bon Jovi tribute band Blaze of Glory and they were awesome too! The finale comedy show with Steve Shafer at the end was really great too. The Quest game show was hysterical and not to be missed. For me, the entertainment was really the best experience of the entire trip.
Are we still disappointed that we didn't make it to Bermuda? Yes. Do we feel like RC's compensation was fair? Not really. But we did have a good time regardless and we made the best of the situation.
We will definitely continue to sail with RC and we are already looking into booking Liberty or Freedom this Spring- never during hurricane season EVER again!
 
michtrif’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7677
Room was clean and just as we expected... small. It was quite a walk to/from the elevator, but we didn't mind. The bed was comfy and I was really impressed with how much storage space there was. We brought a lot of stuff with us and I still had empty cabinets/drawers after I unpacked.
  Explorer of the Seas Deck Plans