I sailed aboard the MV Explorer Enrichment Voyage in May of this year. We cruised from Nassau to several places in Central America: Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama plus two of the Caribbean islands - Grand Cayman and Jamaica. Overall, I enjoyed the experience very much. It was different than a "typical" cruise on one of the bigger ships, but really, I saw that as an advantage.
I've been on quite a few of the other lines, Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean among them, and onboard those ships, it seems like there's always someone trying to sell you something - a photographer wanting to take your picture every night at dinner, an overeager waiter pushing an overpriced tropical drink in your face every time you set foot on the pool deck and pre-port "briefings" that seem more like infomercials for the local diamond emporium. But there was none of that on this cruise. It was a peaceful, laid back experience and exactly what I was looking for.
Let me start at the beginning; I received a postcard that promoted the "Passport to Central America" Enrichment Voyage. It said there would be college professors onboard and more of an educational focus to the cruise. I was intrigued and called to ask some questions. Sharon, who made my reservation, was delightful. She told me about the Enrichment Sessions that would talk about the history and culture of the places we would visit, and she said I'd have the chance to sign up for "Field Programs" in the ports. I figured these would be typical cruise line shore excursions, but I was surprised by what was offered.