This was our 12th cruise with Royal, our second on Explorer. Travelling were myself, husband and two children, ages 9 and 12.
Being from Canada we always travel south a day or two early to ensure we make it to the ship in time. Our 8 hour flight delay on this trip proved once again that early travel is always a good idea.
We spent 2 nights pre-cruise at the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Port Canaveral. The hotel is very close to the port - we could see the ship from our hotel window. A buffet breakfast is included with your room and it was amazing. Lots of choices and plenty of food for everyone. Outdoor pool. Great customer service, clean rooms. Will stay there again without hesitation.
We had two adjoining Promenade rooms. Love the extra seating and being able to watch what is going on at the Promenade. There are blackout curtains for the evenings and the lights are dimmed at night. In the morning the lights are turned up, giving the impression of daylight. Only issue was that our kids (age 9 and 12) in one room had a different muster station than ours.